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•  Transgenic organisms produce proteins that were not previously part of their species’ proteome

Transgenic organisms are genetically modified to express characteristics based on genes introduced from another source

  • The introduced genes code for novel proteins that were not previously part of the species’ proteome

The process of genetically engineering a transgenic organism typically involves three key stages:

  • The gene of interest must first be identified and isolated
  • The gene must be delivered into the cells of the appropriate host organism
  • The transgenic cells must be selected for according to successful gene expression

Producing Transgenic Crops

transgenic crops

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•  Genetic modification can be used to overcome environmental resistance to increase crop yields

•  Genetically modified crop plants can be used to produce novel products

Genetic modification can be used in agriculture to overcome unfavourable environmental factors and increase crop yield

  • Tolerance genes can be introduced into plants to provide resistance to herbicides
  • Genes from xerophytes or halophytes can be introduced into crops to allow them to grow in dry soil or saline conditions
  • Resistance to particular viral diseases or pathogenic infections can be introduced into crop plants

Crops can also be genetically modified to produce novel products that may benefit the consumer

  • The introduction of genes may improve the nutritional value of the crop (e.g. Golden rice produces more beta-carotene)
  • Modified crops may produce toxins to pest species, obviating the need for insecticides (e.g. Bt corn is toxic to the corn borer)
  • Crops are being created that possess the antigenic fragments of specific pathogens, thus functioning as edible vaccines

Transgenic Crops: The Flavr Savr Tomato