Genetically modified crops in agriculture, also referred to as genetically modified foods, are those crops that are tested and modified in laboratory according to the desired traits with the aim to increase the nutritional status of that crop or food. The question arises here, that when breeding techniques are available then why there is need of genetically modified crops in agriculture.
Need of Genetically Modified Crops in Agriculture
These crops were introduced because of the fact that the method of getting desired traits and characteristics in crops through traditional breeding was time consuming and the probability of getting the desired result is low. Whereas in genetically modified crops, the genetic engineering creates plants or crops with fast, accurate and exact results as per requirement.
How Genetically Modified Crops are Made?
In Genetically Modified Crops, the genes are transferred between organisms. These are transferred by using sequence of laboratory techniques to clone the genes by splicing the DNA segments together and ultimately inserting the modified genes into the cells of plants in which modification is needed. The aggregate of these techniques is also called as recombinant DNA technology.
Other Terms Used for Genetically Modified Crops
There are several other terms in use for Genetically Modified Crops or foods. The terms are;
- Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)
- Genetically Engineered (GE)
- Bio-Engineered Crops
- Transgenic Crops
The term ‘Genetically modified’ is confusing for some people. How? It is a fact that almost everything we consume today as food is actually modified genetically. This is because the crops we are eating are domesticated from wild species and passed through many generations of selection by humans to modify them for desirable traits. However in actual, genetically modified here refers to indicate the use of recombinant DNA technology in crop production or food manufacturing.
What is inserted into a Genetically Modified Crops?
The DNA fragments inserted contains genes with desired traits. These genes have the DNA sequence information encoding specific proteins. In addition to this, it also contains DNA segments which control assembly of the proteins.
An important aspect in genetic engineering of crops is that the inserted fragment of DNA also has a marker gene. The concept behind marker gene is to easily identify plants that have been incorporated with the transferred genes into their chromosomes.
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[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2018, March 08). Genetically Modified Crops in Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://aridagriculture.com/2018/03/08/genetically-modified-crops-in-agriculture/ [/box]