Genentically Modified Crops

Kara Scheresky

Trail of Breadcrumbs

1. I first wanted to get some general information so I did a search for genetically modified crops recombinant DNA. This website has a lot of good general information about genetically modified crops. GMOs can increase yields, reduce need for pesticides, enhance nutrient composition, and quality, and resistance to disease. It doesn't talk a lot about how they modify the DNA.
2. This website has the steps that they go through to develop GM crops. They first isolate the genes they want, genes are inserted into a plasmid using recombinant DNA, other plant cells pick up a part of the plasmid, new modified cells are selected, use a tissue culture to make new plants, verify that the section of DNA transferred, test the plants, and make sure they are safe.
3. This link also had general information about GM crops. It talked about how they modify the DNA and about some of the crops that have been genetically modified. It talks about transgenic crops. They modify the crops so they are herbicide tolerant and insect and virus resistant.
4. This website has information about whether or not it is safe to ingest recombinant DNA. Modifying the plant doesn't change it chemically and so recombinant DNA is safe to eat.
5. I decided to refine my search and I did a search of examples of GM crops. I found this link and it has some main crops that are genetically modified, such as corn and soybeans, I found that Monsanto's GM corn was linked to weight gain and organ disruption.

Tomorrow I will look for information specifically on corn.

GM Corn

1. I looked up GM corn and I found this link. It has the 8 crops that have been genetically modified, such as field and sweet corn, alfalfa, sugar beets, and papaya. Field corn and sweet corn have been modified to resist insects and have tolerance to herbicides. As the result of using GMOs, there has been a reduction of 379 million pounds of pesticides being appied to fields. Although it has been genetically modified, the corn doesn't look any different. It has changed in size, consisitancy, seed performance, yield, the number of ears per stalk, and the position of the ears. They have made drought tolerant corn and corn that required less nitrogen, which saves farmers money.

2. I searched for genetically engineered corn and I found a website with some useful information. This website talked about Bt corn. It is nutritionally equal to traditional corn. Soil bacteria is used to modify the corn. A protein in the bacteria kills an insect called a corn borer so Bt corn doesn't need to be sprayed with an insecticide. This protein is very selective and doesn't harm other insects. The genetic material that is inserted into the corn contains a promoter sequence that helps to determine how the trait is expressed. Plasmids help to multiply the gene in the bacteria host before it is put in the corn.

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