Flashcards in Genetically Modified Crops Deck (13)
Difference between GM crops and GE crops
All crops are GM crops selected and bred over 16000 years to select desirable characteristics eg yield and resistance to pests
GE crops are produced using recombinant DNA (DNS from more than one source)
What are 4 examples of new biotechnology techniques?
What is the agrobacterium based technique?
Bacterium responsible for crown hall disease in plants
Uses disarmed tumour inducing plasmid to carry genes of interest into a cell
Two thirds of all GM crops have been produced using this system
What is particle acceleration?
DNA coated gold particles are fired into growing plant tissues
DNA taken up and whole plants regenerated
Some success with GM soybean
What is the electroporation technique?
Electric current alters protoplasm membranes permitting uptake of DNA
(Protoplasts are plants cells with no cell wall)
Used in GM rice production
What is the Microinjection technique?
DNA injected into cytoplasm or nucleus directly
Very labour intensive
Used with GM tomatoes
Which countries are the main growers of GM crops?
What are the main GM crops planted and what are the main traits?
Canola or rapeseed
What traits are currently being developed for GM crops?
Colour, durability, vaccine delivery
Drought resistance, salt tolerance, temperature resistance, heavy metal tolerance
Advantages of GM crops?
Improved targeting of insect pests
Reduced human exposure (especially spray operators)
Reduced pesticide use and environmental contamination
Improved yields for resource poor farmers
Pest control throughout a plant throughout a growing season
Better integration with other methods than chemicals
Better quality crops
What are the dangers of chemical pesticides?
Can cause cancer, birth defects, sterility, behavioural and neurological problems
1-5 million people poisoned globally per year, 20-40000 deaths
Most in developing countries
Disadvantages of GM crops?
Toxicity of GM crops (unlikely)
Invasiveness of plants/genes
Antibiotic marker genes
Resistance development to expressed toxins