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 April 11, 2018
Interesting question - that's a good example of how the term "GMO" (genetically modified organism) is too vague to be really useful. In a sense, yes, your genes are modified compared to both of your parents. And you're definitely not genetically identical to your parents (unless you're a yeast, or a starfish, or a willow tree, or some other organism that can reproduce asexually).   But in common usage, the term GMO refers to an organism containing a gene... Read More
Posted on March 1, 2018
I don't see organic foods becoming obsolete in the future, but I could see what qualifies as certified organic changing over time. There is some debate right now about whether or not the meaning of organic is being diluted. For example, look at growing produce hydroponically. There are some who do not want hydroponics to fall under the organic label. They believe organic should be about taking care of the soil as much if not more than growing the crop, and when there's no soil involved... Read More
Posted on March 1, 2018
GMOs are crops - and like any other version of the same crop, where you grow them and how you grow them is far more important than whether they are GMOs. No known system of agriculture can promise that it is sustainable forever; much agricultural research is being devoted to improving the sustainability of agriculture. In this regard, it appears likely that using GM technologies may improve sustainability of a particular crop cultured in a specific manner and place. Other... Read More
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