Thursday, July 09, 2020

Genetically modified food using recombinant DNA biotechnology

Beginning in the 1990s, scientists created a large number of genetically modified (GM) food varieties. In 1994, the USA registered the first GM tomato for use as food (variety FLAVR SAVR), with enhanced resistance to rotting and increased shelf-life. Foreign countries quickly appreciated the evident advantages of agricultural GM crops and widely applied genetic engineering in plant cultivation.

A genetically modified (GM) food or genetically modified organism (GMO) results from the use of recombinant DNA biotechnological procedures that allow the genetic makeup of a food or organism to be altered in some way.

GMOs are defined as organisms whose genomes have been altered in ways that do not occur naturally. Although the definition of GMOs includes organisms that have been genetically modified by selective breeding, the most commonly used definition refers to organisms modified through genetic engineering or recombinant DNA technologies.

Genetic engineering makes it possible to transfer the genes from one organism to another. Specifically, the methods of genetic engineering include synthesis of the genes, isolation of individual genes or hereditary structures from the cells, followed by rearrangement, copying, and multiplication of the isolated or synthesized genes or genetic structures, and integration of various genomes within a cell.

The bacterium most frequently used is called Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The genetic material that is introduced is called T DNA (transferred DNA) which is located on a Ti plasmid. A Ti plasmid is a circular piece of DNA found in almost all bacteria. The gene of interest is transferred into the bacterium and the bacterial cells then transfer the new DNA to the genome of the plant cells. The plant cells that have successfully taken up the DNA are then grown to create a new plant.

The Flavr Savr™ tomato had a gene added to prevent the breakdown of cell walls as the fruit ripened. The genetic modification allowed these tomatoes to remain firm even after extended shipping and storage times.

Many crops plants that are used to produce food ingredients are now being genetically modified for example soya and maize. Soybeans can be processed to yield many different food ingredients from soya protein and four to oil and lecithin used as emulsifiers, Maize can also be processed to yield a variety of ingredients from starch and sugar to oil and flour.
Genetically modified food using recombinant DNA biotechnology
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