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Genetic Engineering Essay

679 words - 3 pages

Genetic Engineering Genetic engineering involves the alteration of an organism's hereditary material in order to eliminate undesirable characteristics or to produce plants with more desirable characteristics. The splicing of genes takes place in order to combine traits that would be unlikely to occur together under ordinary circumstances. "Practices that go back centuries, such as the use of microbes to make wine, cheese, and the selective breeding of livestock and crops, are examples of biotechnology". (Campbell, 1999) These, and other procedures have relied on mutation and genetic recombination. Biotechnology that is based on manipulation of DNA, is different from earlier practices because ...view middle of the document...

In most cases the splicing involves recombining the donor's desirable genes with the DNA from a vector, which will carry the donor DNA into the host. Many times the host will be a bacterium, which will reproduce and multiply the recombinant DNA producing large quantities of the desired protein. In some cases, DNA can be introduced directly into an organism by injection into reproductive cells. (Encarta 2002) The most commonly used plant-cloning vector is the "Ti" plasmid, or otherwise known as the tumor-inducing plasmid. This bacterium has the ability to infect plants causing a tumorous lump called a crown gall, which forms at the site of infection. The studied plasmid is a large, circular, double-stranded DNA molecule that can replicate independently of the genome. Unfortunately many important crop plants, such as corn, rice, and wheat are monocotyledons, (plants with one embryonic leaf) which cannot be transected using this form of bacteria. Supporters of Genetic Engineering (SGE) see genetic engineering as "the way...

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