Agrcultural Biotechnology

Genetic Mutatuions in Crops

What is Agricultural Biotechnology?

Agricultural Biotechnology is the process in which crops or plants are genetically modified to have desired genes. Some examples are making corn more nutritional, seedless watermelon, and disease resistant plants.

Pros of Genetically Modifying Crops

  • Prevents various diseases
  • Adds more nutrition to the crop
  • Can survive more harsh environments
  • Improved taste
  • Faster Growth
  • Pest resistance

Cons of Genetically Modifying Crops

  • Costs more
  • Massive amounts of funding
  • Creation of super weeds
  • Farmers in third world countries may not be able to afford genetically modified seeds.
  • Unknown effects on human health

Genetically Modified Foods

Techniques of Agricultural Biotechnology

  • One way to transfer a desired gene is to inject the DNA into a plant cell. Then, create an entirely new plant from tissue.
  • Another way is to use a soil bacterium to transfer DNA into the plants.
  • The last way is to use a gene gun to shoot through the cell wall and combine the DNA with the plants DNA.

The Gene Gun

The Gene gun works similarly to a regular gun. The gene gun holds the DNA which sticks to a metal atom such as gold. Then the atom and DNA is accelerated and goes through the cell wall. Once it is in the cell the DNA combines with the plants DNA to get desired results.

Recent News

  • Genetically modified foods are allowed to be sold in the U.S. right now.
  • Most of the states are now deciding whether or not to pass a bill that would force products that are genetically modified to be labeled as such.
  • Maine and Connecticut have been the only 2 states to pass the law requiring GMOs to be labeled, but their acts go into place when other countries join them.
  • This issue is costly for states to debate, and there is no clear winning side yet.
  • Some companies have taken the issue into their own hands and pledged not to use GMOs

The beginning

Farmers started agricultural biotechnology about 10,000 b.c. This started because farmers would use desired traits of plants and grow those plants. This got more technological and today scientists can change plants in multiple ways.


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