Genetically modified plants

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Posted By : ScienceIndia Administrator


Genes are the pieces of DNA which determine development and behaviour of all living organisms. In plants genes for regulation of growth, flowering time, fruit and grain development, disease resistance and many other aspects are known and are being studied. There are technologies to transfer genes from one plant to other plant and also from other organisms to plants. These gene transfer technology has been used to produce plants which are very useful. One of the genetically modified plants which is commonly used in many countries is cotton. Scientist have transferred a gene from bacteria which codes for a toxin against insects in cotton. As a result of it when certain insects eat Bt cotton they die. Because of this technology farmers have to use less chemicals to kill insects. This genetically modified cotton is call Bt Cotton. 

Another genetically modified plant which is used in western countries is soybean. Herbicide resistance gene has been transferred in soybean (and other crops). When growing herbicide resistant soybean farmers do not need to remove weeds from the field manually. They can spray herbicide.  Any plant other than herbicide resistant crop will die. A late ripening variety of tomato was introduced in the USA. A gene for fruit ripening was inactivated so tomato ripening was slow and they remain fresh long after harvesting. Likewise many different crops are generated and being tested to introduce to the farmers.


Article By:

Dr. Mukesh Lodha

DBT-Ramalingaswami Fellow

CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

Hyderabad – 500007


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Sanskriti Dhiman

Genetically Modified or GM food refer to those crops whose DNA has been modified scientifically for better results.
The DNA changes are done by using genetic engineering techniques by subjecting them to chemicals and radiations which bring stable changes in them. The main aim of this is to add an additional trait and property to a plant that does not occur naturally in it. Every year a lot of crops get destroyed due to the attack of insects and pests. The resulted GM breeds are more resistant to diseases and environmental climatic changes.

Posted on : 25-01-2018 08:17:11