Genetically Modified Organisms

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  • Genetically Modified Organisms
    • An organism that has had its genotype altered to produce a new organism
    • Process
      • 1. Plasmid extracted from the bacterium
      • 2. Restriction enzyme is used to cut the plasmid and remove the dis-advantageous gene
      • 3. A section of DNA containing a resistant gene is located.
        • The same restriction enzyme is used to cut the DNA and isolate the gene
      • 4. Gene is inserted into the plasmid to replace the 'bad' gene
        • DNA ligase is used to join the vector and donor DNA together
      • 5. Plasmid gets inserted back inti the bacterium
      • 6. bacterial cell is introduced into the cell of the organism. The bacterial cell divides and the gene is inserted into the organisms DNA
        • 7. Transgenic dells are grown in a petri dish (e.g. plant cells are grown in a tissue culture)
    • Examples
      • Soya Beans
        • Important food source
        • Genetically modified to be herbicide resistant
        • They are unaffected when herbicides are used to kill weeds which reduces competition for resources
      • Tomatoes
        • Ripening process is slowed down
        • 'Flavr Savr' gene - inserted by the process of mRNA and reverse transcriptase
    • Benefits
      • Superior keeping qualities
      • Reduces the need for chemicals by using pesticide/ herbicide resistant genes
      • Higher yield
      • Solves food shortages
    • Concerns
      • Exchange of genetic material from GM crops to wild forms by pollination
      • Using marker genes is a concern because they can be resistant to antibiotics
      • Genes could be transferred to humans
        • Oncogenes
      • Unknown effects of the new protein


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