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Genetically modified medicinal plants

Gene: gene is a portion (or sequence) of DNA that codes for a known cellular function or
the branch of biology that deals with the principles and mechanisms of heredity and with the ge
netic contribution to similarities anddifferences among related organisms.
Genetic engineering:
Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification, is the direct manipulation of an
organism's genome using biotechnology. New DNA may be inserted in the host genome by first
isolating and copying the genetic material of interest using molecular cloning methods to
generate a DNA sequence, or by synthesizing the DNA, and then inserting this construct into the
host organism.
Recombinant dna technology:
It is a technique used in genetic engineering that involves the identification, isolalation, and
insertion of gene of interest in to a vector such as a plasmid or bacteriophage to form a
recombinant DNA molecule and production of large quantities of that gene fragment or product
encoded by that gene.
Note: the objective of gene cloning is either to make numerous copies of the desired gene or to
produce the protein coded by the desired gene. The inserted gene along with vector will replicate
inside the host so that many copies of the desired gene is synthesized.
For expression of the desired gene, expression vector is used(vector with control elements like
promoter, operator etc.) . the product is synthesized in mass cultures in large quantities. This is
how insulin is produced in large quantities in cell cultures.
Vector: a vector is a DNA molecule which is capable of multiplying inside the host to which our
gene of interest is integrated for cloning. The selection of vector depends upon the size of the
fragments to be cloned.Common vectors include plasmids and phage vectors.
Donor organism means the organism from which genetic material is obtained for transfer
to the recipient organism.
Genetically engineered food means both the food and food ingredients composed of or
containing genetically engineered organisms/plants obtained through modern
biotechnology, or food and food ingredients produced from but not containing genetically
engineered organisms/plants obtained through modern biotechnology.
Genetically engineered plant (GE plant) means a plant in which the genetic material has

been changed through in vitro nucleic acid techniques, including recombinant

deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and direct injection of nucleic acid into cells or organelles.
Also referred to as a genetically modified (GM) or recombinant DNA (rDNA) or
transgenic plant.
Genetically modified crops are plants with modified genome by the introduction of new gene or
any DNA sequence of interest a method called genetic engineering. Such crops are differently
named as GMC or GM crops or biotech crops etc. The first commercially grown genetically
modified food crop was a tomato, then came GM potatoes, modified with an insecticide gene
taken from the snowdrop, were toxic to rats.


The main steps involved in the development of GM crops are:
1. Insertion of the gene(s) into a transfer vector.
2. Plant transformation.
3. Selection of the modified plant cells.
4. Regeneration into whole plants.
5. Verification of transformation and characterization of the inserted DNA fragment.
6. Testing of plant performance.
7. Safety assessment.:
ICMR formulated Guidelines for the Safety Assessment of Foods Derived from Genetically
Engineered Plants in 2008 to establish the safety assessment procedures for foods derived from GE plants
taking into consideration the international Guideline for the Conduct of Food Safety Assessment of Foods
Derived from Recombinant-DNA Plants. Conventional counterpart means the related non-genetically
engineered plant variety, its components and/or products for which there is experience of established
safety based on common use as food.


1. Vector-mediated or indirect gene transfer Ti plasmid of
Agrobacterium tumefaciens is used as a vector.
2. Vectorless or direct gene transfer no vector use.
i) Chemical mediated gene transfer PEG, dextran sulphate, Calcium phosphate
ii) Microinjection using fine tipped (0.5 - 1.0 m diameter)glass needle
iii) Electroporation a pulse of high voltage is applied.
iv) Particle gun/Particle bombardment - by a gun
v) Liposome mediated gene transfer /Lipofection

APPLICATIONS OF Transgenic plants

A. Stress tolerance
i) Abiotic stress tolerance :

ii) Herbicide tolerance :

Glyphosate resistance
iii) Other abiotic stresses :

B. Insect resistance
i) Bt genes transfer :
ii) Cowpea trypsin inhibitor, gene (CpTi) transfer :

C. Virus resistance
D. Resistance against Fungal and bacterial infections
E. Delayed fruit ripening
F. Male Sterility
G. Production of biofuels
H. Improved shelf life
I. Production of useful by-products
i) Drugs
ii) Materials :

J. Bioremediation
Less pesticide is needed to be used due to insect pest resistant.
They are more ecofriendly
Decrease in costs of growing and farming,
Higher crop yields.
Decrease in food prices due to lower costs and higher yield.
Scientific development of agriculture, health and related sciences.
Creation of super foods or New foods.
New products.


i) Taste : The taste of GMOs are not as good or "natural".
ii) Environment :
Unintended environmental impacts include harming non target and/or beneficial
species in the case of crops with engineered insecticidal properties,
as well as the development of new strains of resistant pests.
iii) Health : At present, there is no evidence to suggest that GM foods are
unsafe. Some GMO crops causes allergy. Residual toxins resulting from
introduced genes of the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis in so called Bt crops are
unlikely to harm humans.

iv) Markets : Due to controversy, GMO crops have less demand in the
commercial market.


Future envisaged applications of GMOs are diverse and include drugs in food,
bananas that produce human vaccines against infectious diseases such as
Hepatitis B, metabolically engineered fish that mature more quickly, fruit and nut
trees that yield years earlier, and plants that produce new plastics with unique
properties. While their practicality or efficacy in commercial production has yet
to be fully tested, the next decade may see exponential increases in GM product
development as researchers gain increasing access
to genomic resources that are applicable to organisms beyond the scope of
individual projects. Safety testing of these products will also at the same time be
necessary to ensure that the perceived benefits will indeed outweigh the
perceived and hidden costs of development.

Transgenic plants possess a gene or genes that have been transferred from a
different species. Although DNA of another species can be integrated in a plant
genome by natural processes, the term transgenic plants refers to plants
created in a laboratory using recombinant DNA technology. The aim is to design
plants with specific characteristics by artificial insertion of genes from other
species or sometimes entirely different kingdoms. GM crops grown today, or
under experimental development, have been modified with traits intended to
provide benefit to farmers, consumers, or industry.