WHAT IS GENE
• Genes are made of DNA.
• If DNA is like an information library, genes
are like individual instruction books.
• The instructions in genes allow them to make
proteins – which are the building bocks of
• Make up the structural parts of the organism
???• Genetic modification (GM), genetic manipulation (GM) and
genetic engineering (GE) all refer to the same thing – the
use of modern biotechnology techniques to change the
genes of an organism, such as a plant or animal.
• Organism whose genetic material has been altered
using genetic engineering techniques.
• GM does not necessarily mean that a gene
from another organism has to be used to
create the GMO. GM can mean that the
organism’s own genes are changed.
.• GM breeding is used because it can change the genes of
an organism in ways not possible through traditional
breeding techniques providing opportunities for new
plant varieties and animal breeds.
• Biotechnology companies are largely engineering GMO
crops to resist direct application of herbicide. This
allows the crop plants to live while surrounding weeds
• They are plants used in agriculture,
the DNA of which has been modified
using genetic engineering techniques.
• Have been engineered for scientific
research, to create new colours in plants,
and to create different crops.
• In research, plants are engineered to help
discover the functions of certain genes.
• One way to do this is to knock out the gene
of interest and see what
BENEFITS OF USING GM PLANTS
• Creating plants better resistant to weeds, pest and
• Bigger yields to create more efficient use of land,
less uses of herbicides and other pesticides.
• Foods with better texture, flavor and nutritional
• Foods with a longer shelf life for easier shipping.
• Finally, GM foods can create an essential
sustainable way to feed the world.
• According to the Environmental Protection
Agency, U.S. farmers produced over 70 million
acres of corn in 2000, netting about $15 billion
• According to the CFS, up to 40 percent of U.S.
corn is genetically modified. A bacteria gene is
inserted that targets pests, increasing food
• Most genetically modified crop in the U.S.
• About 2.8 billion bushels of soybeans were
harvested from over 72 million acres of
cropland in 2000.
• One that carries a foreign gene that has been
deliberately inserted into its genome.
• The foreign gene is constructed
using recombinant DNA methodology.
• It is a slow, tedious, and expensive process.
• New technologies are making genetic
modifications easier and more precise.
• The first transgenic (genetically modified)
animal was produced by injecting DNA into
mouse embryos then implanting the embryos in
• GMOs are used in biological and medical research.
• Production of pharmaceutical drugs, experimental
medicine (e.g. gene therapy).
• Agriculture (e.g. golden rice, resistance to herbicides).
• For example, a gene from a jellyfish, encoding a
fluorescent protein called GFP, can be physically
linked and thus co-expressed with mammalian genes
to identify the location of the protein encoded by the
GFP-tagged gene in the mammalian cell.
• Such methods are useful tools for biologists in many
areas of research.
• Plant crops, including both food and fiber harvests,
have been subject to several types of genetic
• Genes used to increase yields include those conveying
drought, pest and disease-resistance.
• According to the GMO Compass website, in 2009
more than 88 percent of U.S.-produced corn, soybean
and cotton crops were genetically modified.
• GMO animals are also frequently seen in agriculture.
Genes for increased milk and egg production, disease-
resistance and higher meat proportions are among
those introduced into these populations.
• It is the idea of breeding crops to increase their
• Can be done through genetic engineering.
• Biofortification differs from ordinary
fortification because it focuses on making plant
foods more nutritious as the plants are growing,
rather than having nutrients added to the foods
when they are being processed.
Are GMOs labelled?
• They should always be labelled.
• Unfortunately, even though polls consistently
show that a significant majority of Americans
want to know if the food they’re purchasing
contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has
succeeded in keeping this information from the
• In the absence of mandatory labelling, the Non-
GMO Project was created to give consumers the
informed choice they deserve.
Positive Environmental Impacts of
• Soil salinity has become a major problem in all
agriculture especially in the San Joaquin Valley. This
has made crops less able to grow and in some cases
unable to grow at all.
• Thus we need to research the possibility of using the
genes of salt tolerant plants species (eg: mangrove) in
our agricultural crops.
• Example of such crop:
A gene from the grey mangrove, Avicennia marina,
has been genetically implanted into a tobacco plant,
making it able to tolerate salt stress as well as
showing tolerance to other ionic stresses.
• According to the Institute for Traditional
Medicine, one of the first applications of genetic
modification was the creation a bacterial strain
capable of producing human insulin.
• Insulin, the hormone lacking in people with
diabetes, was previously isolated from pig
• Recombinant insulin offers many advantages
over pig insulin, including cost savings, fewer
allergic reactions and putting an end to the
practice of euthanizing pigs for their insulin.
• Genetic modification of humans, or so-called gene therapy,
is becoming a treatment option for diseases ranging from
rare metabolic disorders to cancer.
• Coupling stem cell technology with recombinant DNA
methods may someday allow stem cells derived from a
patient to be modified in the laboratory to introduce a
• For example, a normal beta-globin gene may be introduced
into the DNA of bone marrow-derived hematopoietic stem
cells from a patient with sickle cell anaemia, and
introduction of these GM cells into the patient
could cure the disease without the need
for a matched donor.
GMO – Playing against
• Is it ethical?
• Playing with creations of God?
• GEAC- Genetically Engineering Approval
• Is food derived from GMOs unsafe?
Socio-political relevance of GMOs
• Genetic manipulation may potentially alter the allergenic
properties of crops.
• However, the more-established risk involves the potential spread
of engineered crop genes to native flora and the
possible evolution of insecticide-resistant “superbugs.”
• In 1998 the European Union (EU) addressed such concerns by
implementing strict GMO labelling laws and a moratorium on the
growth and import of GM crops.
• In addition, the stance of the EU on GM crops has led to trade
disputes with the United States, which, by comparison, has
accepted GM foods very openly.
• Genetically-modified foods have the potential to solve many of
the world's hunger and malnutrition problems.
• Help protect and preserve the environment by increasing yield
and reducing reliance upon chemical pesticides and herbicides.
• Many challenges ahead for governments, especially in the areas of
safety testing, regulation, international policy and food labelling.
• Many people feel that genetic engineering is the inevitable wave
of the future and that we cannot afford to ignore a technology
that has such enormous potential benefits.
• We must proceed with caution to avoid causing unintended harm
to human health and the environment as a result of our
enthusiasm for this powerful technology.
•All data has been collected
from “The times of India”