BIO2015: Lecture 1

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  • Created by: LMoney
  • Created on: 02-04-14 11:25

Genetic engineering/recombinant DNA technology:

  • Isolate & characterise genes
  • produce and characterise genes
  • alter genetic makeup of organism- new genes, loss of existing genes e.g. through RNAi

Genetic engineering history:

  • First discovered in mid 1940s that DNA can be transferred between different organisms
  • particularly between different bacteria- lateral transfer
  • pioneered by Cohen and Boyer 1972-1974 in bacterial systems
  • Southern hybridization developed in 1975 (Ed Southern)
  • DNA sequencing: 1977-1980
  • Transgenic animals made in 1980 (mouse)
  • genetically modified plants were made in 1983 (antibiotic resistant tobacco)
  • plant genetic engineering much further advanced than it is for animals- because of moral considerations
  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) made 1985
  • site-directed mutagenesis made 1985
  • first transgenic product on market Flavr Savr tomato approved for marketing in USA (1994)- only 11 years after first genetically produced plant
  • mad cow disease meant that people lost faith in government food sciencists
  • Bt corn, cotton potatoe, herbicide tolerant soybean commercialised 1995
  • first transgenic animal declared safe to eat by FDA in 2012, 17 years after registration

Traditional Breeding

  • to encourage trait- cross 2 organisms with that trait
  • with genetic engineering you can transfer gene from one organism to another or use completely synthetic gene

gene knockouts- best way to figure out what gene does- remove it and see what happens

Practical applications of genetic engineering

  • Production of industrially important proteins
  • change properties of proteins
  • modification of phenotype of whole organism
  • diagnosis
  • primary applications in agriculture
  • primary applications in medicine
  • other include chemical, paper, and detergent industries
  • protein production
  • pharmaceutical proteins:
  • constant supply and safe
  • growth hormone, insulin, factor VIII & IX, antitrypsin
  • insulin produced from recombinants was problematic because people who were previously on bovine insulin had to adjust
  • microbial proteins:
  • microbes grow poorly but produce valuable enzymes-
  • hyperthermophiles
  • anaerobes
  • archaebacteria
  • genetic engineering makes these proteins available to industry

Plant biotech pipeline:

  • 1st generation plants- i.e. those which were known to be insect resistant, herbicide tolerant etc.. conferred agronomic traits- seen by public as for advantage of growers rather than consumers- a lot of scepticism- although there were large benefits to environment
  • 2nd generation- i.e. enhanced nutritional foods- seen as beneficial to consumers
  • 3rd generation- using plants as biofactors- e.g. production of pharmaceuticals- usually use microorganisms but can use plants- one plant favoured is maize- concern that there could be gene flow into maize for animal consumption- also used for renewable industrial feedstock or biofuels

Role of biotech. in agriculture…

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