Applied DNA Sciences Inc., a developer of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-based DNA manufacturing and nucleic acid-based technologies announced the development in its cotton genomics program that the company believes will provide forensic proof of cotton authenticity and provenance specifically related to regional cotton varietals, allowing brands and relevant regulatory authorities access to fiber origin data regardless of manufacturing location.
At an American Apparel and Footwear Association event, the company recently presented preliminary data demonstrating a technique and conclusions for successfully determining Egyptian cotton fiber, yarn, and fabric provenance utilizing a combination of cotton genomics and isotope analysis (IA). Applied DNA plans to disclose its technique and data once the manuscript is finished.
The programme has identified a biomarker specific to Giza 94, the most widely planted Egyptian cotton varietal1 used in the production of premium cotton textiles, as part of an ongoing applied genomics approach to finding genomic markers linked with cotton grown in specific locations. Through a collaboration between the company and Isotech Laboratories, a branch of Stratum Reservoir, this biomarker was shown to be specific to Giza 94 cultivated in Egypt by validation with stable isotope analysis. The Giza 94 biomarker was found in all samples with an IA signature from Egypt, according to the data. IA revealed that the biomarker was not present in samples that were not of Egyptian provenance.
Based on these discoveries, the company thinks it has demonstrated for the first time that the geographic origin of cotton can be determined definitively by genotyping, a method that determines minute changes in the DNA of living matter. The Company has filed a provisional patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office on its newly discovered biomarker, with the goal of developing the biomarker into a fast and low-cost geoTyping™ assay that can be performed by various supply chain stakeholders and/or any molecular diagnostics lab.
Dr. James A. Hayward, Chairman and CEO of Applied DNA, said that with textile firms obtaining the finished product from factories all over the world, the provenance of cotton is often unclear to brands, regulatory authorities, and customers alike. The capacity to use DNA-based geoTyping to establish Egyptian Giza 94 cotton provenance genomically is a game-changer for an industry still reeling from the multi-hundred-million-dollar repercussions from mislabeled cotton sheeting supplied by major U.S. merchants in 20162. To address concerns about cotton authenticity and provenance, the industry is looking for a fast, accurate, and unchanging method of determining cotton origin. They’re working to provide the same level of authenticity to cotton from the United States, India, Australia, and China using geoTyping.