Unit 4: Agriculture - Manipulation of Food Species (Genetic Engineering and Transgenics)

  • Created by: rosieevie
  • Created on: 15-05-15 17:23
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  • Manipulation of Food Species - Genetic Engineering/ Transgenics/ GM Crops
    • Genetic Engineering - altering an organism's genes by artificially introducing genes from another organism
    • Transgenics - process of transferring genetic material from one organism to another species
    • Horizontal gene transfer - transfer of genes without breeding
    • Aims
      • Increase growth and yield
      • Reduce pesticide and water use
      • Make plants growable in unproductive farmland or climates
      • Increase nutritional quality e.g. golden rice - vitamin A
      • Improve flavour and appearance
      • Increase qualities for harvest, shipping and storage
    • Advantages
      • Single characteristics introduced without selective breeding
      • Allow desirable genes to be introduced from other species
      • Pest-resistant crops mean reduced pesticide use - decreases environmental impacts
      • No current evidence of harm to humans
    • Disadvantages
      • Some claims of food-related allergies from GM crops
      • Horizontal gene transfer for antibiotic resistance from bacteria in crops to pathogens, causing superbugs
      • Pollen may transfer herbicide resistance to weeds
      • Pollen from GM BT corn is toxic when blown onto wild plant leaves that are eaten
      • Initial high yield may not be maintained


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