What is genetic modification in agriculture


Types of Genetic Modification Methods for Crops

  • Traditional Crop Modification. Traditional methods of modifying plants, like selective breeding and crossbreeding, have been around for nearly 10,000 years.
  • Genetic Engineering. Genetic engineering is a method that, among other things, enables scientists to copy a gene with a desired trait in one organism and put it into another.
  • Genome Editing. …

Genetic modification of plants involves adding a specific stretch of DNA into the plant’s genome, giving it new or different characteristics. This could include changing the way the plant grows, or making it resistant to a particular disease.


How does genetic mutation help with farming?

Genetic engineering, also known as genetic modification, can help us in a variety of ways. GMOs can help crops and plants by enhancing nutritional content of food or even helping crops fight drought and insects. Below is a list of what traits GMOs can offer plants and crops: Insect resistance. This trait provides farmers with season-long …

What crops are typically genetically modified?

What are the disadvantages of genetically modified crops?

  • Allergic Reactions.
  • Genetically Modified Tomatoes.
  • Reduced Nutrition.
  • Toxins on soil.
  • Resistance of pests to toxins.
  • Biodiversity.
  • Source: Pinterest.

How did genetics become part of Agriculture?

The use of genetics to develop new strains of plants and animals has brought major changes in agriculture since the 1920s. Genetics as the science dealing with the principles of heredity and variation in plants and animals was established only at the beginning of the 20th century. Its application to practical problems came later.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of genetic modification?

What Are the Advantages of Genetically Modified Foods?

  1. Genetic modifications allow harvests to become more predictable. If crops are able to produce a predictable yield each year, then consistent harvests can be achieved.
  2. GMO foods can be changed to improve their nutritional profile. …
  3. Genetically modified foods stay fresh longer than other foods. …
  4. Medication can be infused into food DNA. …

More items…


What is genetic modification explain?

Genetic modification is the process of altering the genetic makeup of an organism. This has been done indirectly for thousands of years by controlled, or selective, breeding of plants and animals.

Which is a genetically modified crop?

The GM crops grown commercially included: potato (USA), squash/pumpkin (USA) alfalfa (USA), aubergine (Bangladesh), sugar beet (USA, Canada), papaya (USA and China), oilseed rape (4 countries), maize (corn) (17 countries), soya beans (11 countries) and cotton (15 countries).

What is genetic modification in organic farming?

Genetically modified crops (GM crops) are plants used in agriculture, the DNA of which has been modified using genetic engineering methods. Plant genomes can be engineered by physical methods or by use of Agrobacterium for the delivery of sequences hosted in T-DNA binary vectors.

What is the purpose of genetic modification in plants?

Purposes of GM crops generally include resistance to certain pests, diseases, or environmental conditions, or resistance to chemical treatments (e.g. resistance to a herbicide). Other purposed of genetic modification of crops is to enhance its nutritional value, as seen in the case of golden rice.

How plants are genetically modified?

0:0610:26How to Make a Genetically Modified Plant – YouTubeYouTubeStart of suggested clipEnd of suggested clipGenetically modified plants are created by adding genes to specifically change a particular trait ofMoreGenetically modified plants are created by adding genes to specifically change a particular trait of the plant plants that have been genetically modified. Are sometimes referred to as transgenic

What are the advantages and disadvantages of genetically modified crops?

The pros of GMO crops are that they may contain more nutrients, are grown with fewer pesticides, and are usually cheaper than their non-GMO counterparts. The cons of GMO foods are that they may cause allergic reactions because of their altered DNA and they may increase antibiotic resistance.

What are GMOs give two examples?

Solution : GMOs are the genetically modified organisms. E.g., Bt -cotton, rice, Bt- corn ,potato and tomato.

What is the difference between organic and GMO?

GMO or genetically modified organism is the product of a laboratory procedure which involves artificial combination of differing genes. Organic is the description for products which were not processed and yielded through chemical-free fertilizers and pesticides.

How GMO affect farmers?

GMO agriculture has led to superweeds and superpests that are extraordinarily difficult for farmers to manage. Farmers affected by resistant pests must revert to older and more toxic chemicals, more labor or more intensive tillage, which overshadow the promised benefits of GMO technology.

What are the advantages benefits of the GMO?

The possible benefits of genetic engineering include:More nutritious food.Tastier food.Disease- and drought-resistant plants that require fewer environmental resources (such as water and fertilizer)Less use of pesticides.Increased supply of food with reduced cost and longer shelf life.Faster growing plants and animals.More items…•

Why GMOs are good for the environment?

In 2016 alone, growing GMO crops helped decrease CO2 emissions equivalent to taking 16.7 million cars off the road for an entire year. GMOs also reduce the amount of pesticides that need to be sprayed, while simultaneously increasing the amount of crops available to be eaten and sold.

What is genetically modified?

The term genetically modified (GM), as it is commonly used, refers to the transfer of genes between organisms using a series of laboratory techniques for cloning genes, splicing DNA segments together, and inserting genes into cells. Collectively, these techniques are known as recombinant DNA technology. Other terms used for GM plants or foods derived from them are genetically modified organism (GMO), genetically engineered (GE), bioengineered, and transgenic. ‘Genetically modified’ is an imprecise term and a potentially confusing one, in that virtually everything we eat has been modified genetically through domestication from wild species and many generations of selection by humans for desirable traits. The term is used here because it is the one most widely used to indicate the use of recombinant DNA technology. According to USDA standards for organic agriculture, seeds or other substances derived through GM technology are not allowed in organic production.

Who regulates GM crops?

GM crops are regulated at the federal level by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), each with authority to oversee specific aspects of the crops and their products. Since GM crops were introduced in the U.S.

What is GM technology?

Genetic modification (GM) technology allows the transfer of genes for specific traits between species using laboratory techniques. GM crops were first introduced in the U.S. in the mid-1990s. Most current GM crops grown in the U.S. are engineered for insect resistance or herbicide tolerance. Corn, soybeans, and cotton are …

What is a GM plant?

Other terms used for GM plants or foods derived from them are genetically modified organism ( GMO), genetically engineered (GE), bioengineered, and transgenic. ‘Genetically modified’ is an imprecise term and a potentially confusing one, in that virtually everything we eat has been modified genetically through domestication from wild species …

How do plant breeding programs work?

Most plant breeding programs rely on manual cross-pollination between genetically distinct plants to create new combinations of genes. The progeny plants are intensively evaluated over several generations and the best ones are selected for potential release as new varieties.

Why are GM crops so large?

Because several of them are major crops, the area planted to GM varieties is very large. Most current GM crops have been engineered for resistance to insects, tolerance to herbicides (weed control products) or both. Figure 1. Currently grown GM crops in the U.S., traits for which they are modified, and percent of total acreage …

How do organisms store genetic information?

Most organisms store their genetic information in the form of DNA molecules in chromosomes. The sequence of chemical bases in a DNA strand encodes a specific order of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins . Proteins carry out many functions in cells and tissues, which together are responsible for an organism’s characteristics. Because most life forms share this same language of heredity—and due to scientific advances in molecular biology—it is now possible to transfer a gene from one species to another, for example from a bacterium to a plant, and have it function in its new host.

What is genetic modification?

Genetic modification (GM) is the area of biotechnology which concerns itself with the manipulation of the genetic material in living organisms, enabling them to perform specific functions.1,2 The earliest concept of modification for domestication and consumption of plants dates back ∼10,000 years where human ancestors practiced “selective breeding” and “artificial selection” – the Darwinian-coined terms broadly referring to selection of parent organisms having desirable traits (eg: hardier stems) and breeding them for propagating their traits. The most dramatic alteration of plant genetics using these methods occurred through artificial selection of corn – from a weedy grass possessing tiny ears and few kernels (teosinte; earliest recorded growth: central Balsas river valley, southern Mexico 6300 years ago) to the current cultivars of edible corn and maize plants (Doebley et al.,2016, Fig 1). The use of similar techniques has also been reported to derive current variants of apples, broccoli and bananas different from their ancestral plant forms which are vastly desirable for human consumption.3

Where did genetic modification originate?

Genetic modification in plants was first recorded 10,000 years ago in Southwest Asia where humans first bred plants through artificial selection and selective breeding. Since then, advancements in agriculture science and technology have brought about the current GM crop revolution. GM crops are promising to mitigate current and future problems in commercial agriculture, with proven case studies in Indian cotton and Australian canola. However, controversial studies such as the Monarch Butterfly study (1999) and the Séralini affair (2012) along with current problems linked to insect resistance and potential health risks have jeopardised its standing with the public and policymakers, even leading to full and partial bans in certain countries. Nevertheless, the current growth rate of the GM seed market at 9.83–10% CAGR along with promising research avenues in biofortification, precise DNA integration and stress tolerance have forecast it to bring productivity and prosperity to commercial agriculture.

How successful are GM crops?

GM crops have been largely successful in mitigating the above major agriculture challenges while providing numerous benefits to growers worldwide. From 1996–2013, they generated $117.6 bn over 17 years in global farm income benefit alone. The global yearly net income increased by 34.3% in 2010–2012.13,14Furthermore, while increasing global yield by 22%, GM crops reduced pesticide (active ingredient) usage by 37% and environmental impact (insecticide and herbicide use) by 18%.15To achieve the same yield standards more than 300 million acres of conventional crops would have been needed, which would have further compounded current environmental and socioeconomic problems in agriculture.2

How much is agriculture worth?

The agriculture industry has been valued at an estimated US$ 3.2 trillion worldwide and accounts for a large share of the GDP and employment in developing and underdeveloped nations.5For instance: Agriculture contributes only 1.4% towards the GDP and 1.62% of the workforce in US in comparison with South Asian regions, where it contributes 18.6% towards the GDP and 50% of the workforce.6However, despite employing nearly 1 in 5 people worldwide (19% of the world’s population),7the agriculture industry is projected to suffer significant global setbacks (population growth, pest resistance and burden on natural resources) by 2050, which has been elaborated further in this section.

How have GM crops been beneficial to the environment?

The global food crop yield (1996–2013) has increased by > 370 million tonnes over a relatively small acreage area.2Furthermore, GM crops have been recorded to reduce environmental and ecological impacts, leading to increases in species diversity. It is therefore unsurprising that GM crops have been commended by agricultural scientists, growers and most environmentalists worldwide.

What are the problems with GM crops?

Moreover, poor science communication by seed companies, a significant lack of safety studies and current mistrust regarding GMOs have only compounded problems. These have led many countries, particularly the European Union and Middle East to implement partial or full restrictions on GM crops. GM agriculture is now widely discussed in both positive and negative frames, and currently serves as a hotbed of debate in public and policymaking levels.

How did corn evolve?

The evolution of modern corn/maize (top) from teosinte plants (bottom) by repetitive selective breeding over several generations. [Sources: 50(top figure),51(bottom figure)].

What is genetic modification?

Genetic modification is the process of altering the genetic makeup of an organism. This has been done indirectly for thousands of years by controlled, or selective, breeding of plants and animals. Modern biotechnology has made it easier and faster to target a specific gene for more-precise alteration of the organism through genetic engineering.

How are crops genetically modified?

There are four primary methods of genetically modifying crops, according to The O hio State University: 1 Selective breeding: Two strains of plants are introduced and bred to produce offspring with specific features. Between 10,000 and 300,000 genes can be affected. This is the oldest method of genetic modification, and is typically not included in the GMO food category. 2 Mutagenesis: Plant seeds are purposely exposed to chemicals or radiation in order to mutate the organisms. The offspring with the desired traits are kept and further bred. Mutagenesis is also not typically included in the GMO food category. 3 RNA interference: Individual undesirable genes in plants are inactivated in order to remove any undesired traits. 4 Transgenics: A gene is taken from one species and implanted in another in order to introduce a desirable trait.

What is the difference between GMO and modified food?

In the field of biotechnology, GMO stands for genetically modified organism, while in the food industry , the term refers exclusively to food that has been purposefully engineered and not selectively bred organisms.

Why is labeling GMO food important?

People strongly in favor of GMO labeling believe that consumers should be able to decide whether they wish to purchase genetically modified foods.

How many methods of genetic modification are there?

There are four primary methods of genetically modifying crops, according to The O hio State University:

Why are undesirable genes inactivated in plants?

RNA interference: Individual undesirable genes in plants are inactivated in order to remove any undesired traits.

When did dogs become genetically modified?

Dogs were likely the first animals to be purposefully genetically modified, with the beginnings of that effort dating back about 32,000 years, according to Rangel.

What is the purpose of EU legislation on GMOs?

EU legislation on GMOs has two main objectives: to protect health and the environment – a GMO or a food product derived from a GMO can only be put on the market in the EU after is has been authorised on the basis of a detailed EU procedure based on a scientific assessment of the risks to health and the environment.

Why is Scotland against GM crops?

The Scottish Government has long been opposed to the cultivation of GM crops in the open environment in order to protect the clean, green status of Scotland’s £14 billion food and drink sector.

What is GM authorisation in Europe?

GM authorisation in Europe adopts a precautionary, case-by-case approach where the scale of release is related to the level of risk. Broadly speaking the three levels of authorisation are:

What are GM plants?

The most common GM plants that have been developed and commercialised so far are GM maize, soya, oilseed rape and cotton that have been modified to provide resistance to certain insect pests and/or tolerance to herbicides.

Do new crop varieties have to be approved?

However, all new crop varieties (GM and non GM) also have to be approved as suitable for agriculture via the National List trials route. The Traceability and Labelling Regulations (EC) 1829/2003 and (EC) 1830/2003 require that any intentional use of GM ingredients in food and feed at any level must be labelled.

Can GMOs be sold in the EU?

A GMO that has not been approved in the EU is not allowed at any level (zero tolerance) in food and feed for sale in the EU. In summary: GMOs, including food and feed products derived from GMOs, placed on the market must comply with labelling and traceability rules.


The world’s population is expected to rise to 9.8 billion by the end of 2050 (United Nations , 2013).

What is Genetic Modification?

Genetic modification, also known as genetic engineering, refers to the direct manipulation of DNA to adjust an organism’s phenotypes in any particular way. This may mean that one of the base pairs (such as A-T or C-G) is altered, deleting or inserting a whole region of previously known DNA.

Genetic modification in agriculture

Genetic modification is a process that involves inserting DNA into the genome of an organism. To produce a genetic modification plant, new DNA is transferred into plant cells. Normally, the cells are then grown in tissue culture where they develop into plants. (The Royal Society, 2016) The seeds produced by these plants will inherit the new DNA.

Genetic Modifications in Crops

Scientists have already worked on a variety of plants to help benefit the population in terms of feeding.

Pros and Cons of Genetic Modification

Some advantages that genetic modification has over other techniques are as it follows is that one: It allows genes to be introduced into a crop plant from any source. Biotechnologists can select a gene from anywhere in nature and with the modifications, it can make a version of it that will be active in a crop plant.

Advances in Knowledge and Technology That is Needed for GMOs

There are seven important molecular tools that are used for genetic engineering. These are; Polymerase Chain Reaction, Restriction Enzymes (Molecular Scissor), Electrophoresis, DNA Ligase, Selection of Small Self-Replicating DNA, Method to Move a Vector into a Host Cell, Methods to Select Transgenic Organisms.


To conclude, the above paragraphs show how the research question is explored in depth in terms of how genetically modified foods help to feed a growing population. By having these engineered crops, it is allowed for there to be an abundance more of food that is protected and healthy despite having its genes modified to create them.

When were genetically engineered crops first introduced?

The first genetically engineered plants to be produced for human consumption were introduced in the mid-1990s. Today, approximately 90 percent of the corn, soybeans, and sugar beets on the market are GMOs. Genetically engineered crops produce higher yields, have a longer shelf life, are resistant to diseases and pests, and even taste better.

How can we modify plants and animals?

Conventional methods of modifying plants and animals— selective breeding and crossbreeding —can take a long time. Moreover, selective breeding and crossbreeding often produce mixed results, with unwanted traits appearing alongside desired characteristics. The specific targeted modification of DNA using biotechnology has allowed scientists to avoid this problem and improve the genetic makeup of an organism without unwanted characteristics tagging along.

Why are GMOs important?

In the future, GMOs are likely to continue playing an important role in biomedical research. GMO foods may provide better nutrition and perhaps even be engineered to contain medicinal compounds to enhance human health. If GMOs can be shown to be both safe and healthful, consumer resistance to these products will most likely diminish.

What are GMOs used for?

Most animals that are GMOs are produced for use in laboratory research. These animals are used as “models” to study the function of specific genes and, typically, how the genes relate to health and disease. Some GMO animals, however, are produced for human consumption.

What is a GMO?

Encyclopedic Entry. Vocabulary. A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an animal, plant, or microbe whose DNA has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. For thousands of years, humans have used breeding methods to modify organisms. Corn, cattle, and even dogs have been selectively bred over generations to have certain desired traits.

What is the term for a natural substance that kills organisms that threaten agriculture or are undesirable?

natural or manufactured substance used to kill organisms that threaten agriculture or are undesirable. Pesticides can be fungicides (which kill harmful fungi), insecticides (which kill harmful insects), herbicides (which kill harmful plants), or rodenticides (which kill harmful rodents.)

What is the basic unit of heredity?

part of DNA that is the basic unit of heredity. living thing whose genes (DNA) have been altered for a specific purpose. process of altering and cloning genes to produce a new trait in an organism or to make a biological substance, such as a protein or hormone. tiny organism, usually a bacterium.

When did the FDA approve the first genetic modification in an animal for use as food?

2015 FDA approves an application for the first genetic modification in an animal for use as food, a genetically engineered salmon.

What are some examples of modification methods?

For example, early farmers developed cross-breeding methods to grow corn with a range of colors, sizes, and uses.

How to make a GMO plant?

To produce a GMO plant, scientists first identify what trait they want that plant to have, such as resistance to drought, herbicides, or insects. Then, they find an organism (plant, animal, or microorganism) that already has that trait within its genes. In this example, scientists wanted to create insect-resistant corn to reduce the need to spray pesticides. They identified a gene in a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which produces a natural insecticide that has been in use for many years in traditional and organic agriculture.

What is the 1992 FDA policy?

1992 FDA policy states that foods from GMO plants must meet the same requirements, including the same safety standards, as foods derived from traditionally bred plants.

Why do scientists grow corn?

In the laboratory, scientists grow the new corn plant to ensure it has adopted the desired trait (insect resistance). If successful, scientists first grow and monitor the new corn plant (now called Bt corn because it contains a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis) in greenhouses and then in small field tests before moving it into larger field tests. GMO plants go through in-depth review and tests before they are ready to be sold to farmers.

What was the first GMO?

1990s The first wave of GMO produce created through genetic engineering becomes available to consumers: summer squash, soybeans, cotton, corn, papayas, tomatoes, potatoes, and canola. Not all are still available for sale.

What is the process of identifying a gene?

Identifying the genetic information—or “gene”—that gives an organism (plant, animal, or microorganism) a desired trait. Copying that information from the organism that has the trait. Inserting that information into the DNA of another organism. Then growing the new organism.

How to identify genes in plants?

The first step in identifying the function of a gene is to compare its nucleotide or amino acid sequence with all of the sequences in databases derived from the genomes of other organisms . A function may be assigned through similarity to other genes with known function, hence genomes can have usefulness across species or even across kingdoms in allowing us to specify function. Genome-wide mutagenesis using transposable elements such as Ac/Ds, Tos17 (an endogenous retrotransposon of rice) or T-DNA insertions has resulted in the production of populations consisting of many lines, where each line contains an insert in a single gene. Since the DNA sequence of the insert is known, it is simple to determine which gene has been disrupted by cloning the flanking sequence. There is a set of Arabidopsis lines containing inserts in approximately 80% of the genes and, in rice, a similar proportion are tagged; these lines are freely available ( www.arabidopsis.org/abrc/ecker_frank.jsp and Hirochika et al. 2004 ). These tagged lines can be made homozygous and their phenotypes determined to associate a gene with a specific phenotype. The tagged genes can then become candidates for crop improvement either as DNA markers or directly in transgenic breeding.

How has yield increased in agriculture?

In recent years, these two components of yield improvement have become more intimately intertwined with inbuilt genetic traits delivered in the seed being able to replace some management inputs, particularly in pest control. Improvements in management have closed the gap between best farm yield and yield potential of the crop for a range of input regimes. In parallel, the average farm yields have approached best farm yields as a consequence of better extension services, accessible computer decision support tools and increased abilities of farmers to recognize and adopt best industry practice.

Why are seeds important for animal nutrition?

Seeds are major sources of dietary protein for large vegetarian populations around the world and intensively farmed animals. However, the protein in seeds can have a skewed amino acid composition due to the high abundance of a limited number of individual seed storage proteins. Of the 20 protein amino acids, 10 are classified as ‘essential’ because they cannot be synthesized by animals, and consequently must be obtained from the diet. Insufficiency of certain essential amino acids can be a cause of malnutrition in countries that are dependent on a diet of low diversity and can limit the efficiency of animal production. Legume and cereal grains are particularly important for human and animal nutrition, but their seed protein is deficient in the essential amino acids methionine and lysine, respectively ( Tabe & Higgins 1998; Amir & Galili 2003 ). These deficiencies can be offset to some extent by combining the two types of seeds, but animal feeds are still supplemented with synthetic amino acids for optimal nutrition ( Habben & Larkins 1995 ). In developing countries, up to 90% of food intake can be derived from a single crop species, so amino acid balance of individual seeds becomes a critical consideration also for human nutrition.

How many genes are present in the genome of plants?

The ways in which plants develop and respond to the environment in order to produce an optimal yield of food or fibre is the result of the controlled expression of the approximately 30 000 genes that are present in the genome of all plants. The role of genomics is to define the function of these genes, determine how they are regulated and how their gene products interact. These findings can then be applied to crop improvement.

What is the role of microarrays in anaerobic response?

under anaerobic conditions genes can be chosen with a similar expression response pattern to alcohol dehydrogenase suggesting a similar involvement in the anaerobic response.

Where did rust resistance genes come from?

The first rust resistance genes have been cloned from flax ( Lawrence et al. 1995) and more recently from cereals ( Collins et al. 1999; Brueggeman et al. 2002; Feuillet et al. 2003; Huang et al. 2003 ). Apart from providing the first insights into how rust resistance genes function, cloned genes will make a positive impact on plant breeding.

Do introduced genes have to be unrelated to the genes of the crop species?

Rarely the introduced genes have been unrelated to the genes of the crop species and, in general, they are usually accommodated by the metabolic and cellular pathways already existing in the crop species. Not all breeding goals have been met by the introduction of single genes in different allelic forms.


Leave a Comment