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  • jtrav21's picture
    jtrav21
    09.23.2013
    Hi Bailey - There is a range of different types of genetic modifications. You are describing a "transgenic" GMO plant, which has been altered to include the DNA of another organism. A "cisgenic" plant has been altered to include DNA from a plant that it would otherwise naturally breed with. Additionally, you can simply change the existing genome (DNA) of a plant to knock out a gene (remove it or turn it off with various genetic techniques). Some genes confer benefits (therefore you might want to take a gene from one plant and introduce it into another to confer the benefits), and some are detrimental (thus, by turning them off or removing them you remove the negative affects). Additionally, having multiple copies of the same gene can sometimes be beneficial (it can potentially increase the overall rate of gene expression), and adding copies of an existing gene can be a target of a GMO. There are many examples of GMO plants that do not include any foreign DNA, but which have been altered for some reason. Therefore, the terminology you are using is likely confusing and your scientist contact was trying to clarify that GMO does not necessarily mean transgenic.