Golden Rice - GM Case Study

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 07-03-14 08:42


  • 120mllion people are effected by vitamin A deficieny and 1-2million people die as a consequence
  • 500,000 people become blind because of Vit A deficiency a year
  • Vitamin A comes from animal cources
  • Beta-carotene can be converted into vitaminA as it is a precursor molecule

rice contains the genes for the production of beta-carotene. This molecule is in the green part of the plant as it is photosynthetic. In the endosperm, the gene for beta-carotene production is switched off. Scientisist hav engineered rice so that beta carotene accumulates in the endosperm

Required Genes to be inserted:

  • Phytoene synthetase gene from daffodis
  • Crt 1 enzyme gene from Erwinia uredorora from soil bacteria
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Production of Beta Carotene in GM Rice Endosperm

Phytoene synthetase converts precursor molecules into phytoene

Crt 1 enzyme converts phytoene into lycopene

Lycopene is then converted into beta-carotene by Phytoene synthetase

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Genetic Engineering Process

Phytonene sythetase and Crt 1 genes are isolated with restriction enzymes

Plasmid removed from Agrobacteria tumefacians and cut

Phytoene and Crt 1 are inserted into plasmid along with marker genes

Recombinant plasmid is inserted into the bacteria

Rice plans incubated with transformed Agrobacteria tumefaciens so it infects the rice plant cell's DNA

Transformed rice plant cells are gornwin on a selective medium

Only transformed plants grow because they contain the marker gene that's needed for it to grow there

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  • Daily required amount of Vitamin A is delivered in 300g of rice
  • Humanitarian licenses from companies means the farmers can grow the crop without paying huge fees
  • it is the only globally viable solution


  • Possible reduction in biodiversity
  • food safety of rice is unknown
  • it may contaminate the wild rice population
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