Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Development of Cost efficient Advanced DNA-based methods for specific Traceability issues and High Level On-site applications

How can cost efficient advanced DNA-based methods be developed for specific traceability issues and high level on-site applications?

Grégory Schneider
EU FP7 Decathlon


The Decathlon project’s strategic objective is the development of cost efficient advanced DNA-based methods for specific traceability issues and high level on-site applications.

More specific DECATHLON aims to:

  • Develop advanced, dedicated DNA-based methodologies for lab-based and on-site application for selected issues in the fields of 1) food pathogens, 2) traceability of GMOs, and 3) customs issues;
  • Develop and apply minimal performance parameters (MPPs) for DNA extraction, isothermal amplification, different PCR-based approaches and next-generation sequencing (NGS) with emphasis on cost efficiency;
  • Include socio-economic factors and other impact criteria in the development of methods, such as on-site applicability and equivalence to current standard approaches;
  • Demonstrate the advanced characteristics of developed methods that are important for decision making, including measurement uncertainties under suboptimal conditions;
  • Develop training schemes for inter-laboratory validation trials and facilitate subsequent application of the developed methods by additional laboratories on the basis of e-learning tools.

Expected Results

The Decathlon project has already initiated its activities and as outcomes the following overall result is foreseen:

  • Support the development of informative and cost-effective DNA-based methods for detection, identification quantification and characterization of foodborne pathogens and GMOs. Similar methodologies will be developed for the most relevant issues defined by the European customs laboratories to address current analytical shortcomings.
  • For each of the three listed areas more than one highly sensitive detection and identification tool will be developed that will form a better basis for decision making. The impact of this will in principle be major improvements with respects to quality, safety, identification and traceability of bioeconomy products.
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