Saturday, July 11, 2020

Genetic engineering in agriculture

The principles of genetics were worked out first in plants and the first enzyme to be crystallized was bean urease. Transposon was discovered first in plants. Yet, molecular biology developed independently of plant sciences.

Plant genetic engineering or gene technology is based on discoveries made by molecular biologists in the second half of the 20th century, which provided for the transfer of the individual genes or their fragments from one organism to another. It was started with bacteria in the laboratory in 1973. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that the United States decided to formally regulate genetic engineering organism to assess their safety for human and animal health and the environment, including the agricultural environment.

Genetic engineering can add to the efficiency of crop improvement. It is possible due to the fact that plants are totipotent enabling regeneration of a new plant from an isolated cell. Thus, if a gene is transferred to a plant genome in a cell the regenerated plant will contain that gene in every cell.

The first transgenic plants (tobacco with the genes transferred from microorganisms) were obtained in 1983.

Genetic engineering offers an expanding array of strategies for enhancing disease resistance of crop plants in sustainable ways, including the potential for reduced pesticide usage. Certain genetic engineering applications involve transgenesis, in some cases creating a metabolic pathway novel to the genetic engineering crop.

Genetic engineering mechanisms are often designed to have selective efficacy against particular target pathogens. High target selectivity is advantageous, in that it minimizes health concerns for consumers as well as risks to non-target biota in and around agroecosystems.

Genetically engineered crops are plants that have had their genetic material (DNA) purposefully manipulated in the laboratory to produce a particular beneficial outcome. These types of crops are often called genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.
 Genetic engineering in agriculture 

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