QHow exactly is the beet H7-1 beet genetically modified? Is a plasmid added to the DNA?

How exactly is the beet H7-1 beet genetically modified? Is a plasmid added to the DNA?

AExpert Answer

Roundup Ready sugar beets H7-1 was developed by first making a piece of DNA, called an expression cassette, that contains the cp4 epsps gene for tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup agricultural herbicides. Using genetic-engineering techniques, that expression cassette is spliced into a plasmid and transformed into Agrobacterium. The Agrobacterium is then added to a petri dish containing sugar beet cells growing in tissue culture. The Agrobacterium uses a natural process to insert that expression cassette into the genome of the plant. The DNA of the resulting plant then contains the cp4 epsps gene and has a tolerance to glyphosate. The process is not unique to sugar beets and is used to develop most GM plants. A detailed description of the process is available in the USDA petition, starting on page 19: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/03_32301p.pdf


There are also several YouTube videos that show the basic process for making GM plants using the Agrobacterium method.




Posted on October 26, 2017
An "LMO" (Living Modified Organism) is basically a GMO that is alive and capable of passing on its genes to a subsequent generation. In most situations, the terms LMO and GMO are essentially synonymous, but neither term is really used by most biotechnologists! More on that below.    The term LMO was used in the Cartegena Protocol (basically a big document that came out of an international convention several years ago, more detailed info here.)   The reason we as... Read More
Posted on October 6, 2017
Biotechnology as a discipline focuses on understanding molecular biology and has applications in medicine/health, environmental science, industrial products and agriculture. Biotechnology is widely used in all these sectors. I will focus my answer on agricultural biotechnology.   In many countries (e.g., Brazil, Canada, India, and the United States) a significant amount of agricultural research, especially basic research in molecular biology, is conducted by governmental agricultural... Read More
Posted on October 20, 2017
We assume your question is about altering plants, not the “planet” – and in terms of plants being altered, humans have been modifying the genetics of plants (and animals) to feed ourselves for thousands of years. For more information on agricultural changes to plants, get to know GMOs and see how food is modified here. And to better understand why GMOs were initially created in agriculture and the evolution of crop modification we encourage you to read more here.... Read More