Expert response from Joshua Price
Wednesday, 02/26/2014 16:46
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.
How GMOs are Researched, Developed and Tested
Learn how plant biotechnology works through the scientists who research, develop and test GMO crops at Dupont.