Scholtens IM, Kok EJ, Hougs L, Molenaar B, Thissen JT, van der Voet H
To improve the efficacy of the in-house validation of GMO detection methods (DNA isolation and real-time PCR, polymerase chain reaction), a study was performed to gain insight in the contribution of the different steps of the GMO detection method to the repeatability and in-house reproducibility. In the present study, 19 methods for (GM) soy, maize canola and potato were validated in-house of which 14 on the basis of an 8-day validation scheme using eight different samples and five on the basis of a more concise validation protocol. In this way, data was obtained with respect to the detection limit, accuracy and precision. Also, decision limits were calculated for declaring non-conformance (>0.9%) with 95% reliability. In order to estimate the contribution of the different steps in the GMO analysis to the total variation variance components were estimated using REML (residual maximum likelihood method). From these components, relative standard deviations for repeatability and reproducibility (RSD(r) and RSD(R)) were calculated. The results showed that not only the PCR reaction but also the factors 'DNA isolation' and 'PCR day' are important factors for the total variance and should therefore be included in the in-house validation. It is proposed to use a statistical model to estimate these factors from a large dataset of initial validations so that for similar GMO methods in the future, only the PCR step needs to be validated. The resulting data are discussed in the light of agreed European criteria for qualified GMO detection methods.