GM crops grown today or under development have been modified with different characteristics. Most existing genetically modified crops have been developed to increase yields by making plants resistant to diseases or by increasing resistance to herbicides. Most modern GM crops have been developed with insect resistance, herbicides (weed control agents), or both. Other crops have been developed to be resistant to specific plant diseases and pests, which can make pest control more reliable and effective and/or reduce the use of synthetic pesticides.
Genetically modified seeds have been a major advance, maintaining or increasing yields while requiring less land and at lower costs, reducing the environmental impact of agriculture and lowering costs for farmers. In addition to genetically modified crops, biotechnology has helped bring about other non-plant improvements in agriculture. In contrast, agricultural biotechnology uses modern genetic engineering tools to reduce uncertainty and breeding time, and to transfer traits from more distant plants. Agricultural biotechnology is a range of tools, including traditional agricultural practices, that modify living organisms or parts of organisms to create or modify products; improve plants or animals; or develop microorganisms for specific agricultural purposes.
A genetically modified or genetically modified crop is a plant that has a new combination of genetic material obtained using modern biotechnology. The term “transgenic” (GM) is commonly used to refer to the transfer of genes between organisms using a series of laboratory techniques to clone the gene, link DNA fragments, and insert the gene into cells. Genetic modification (GM) technology allows the transfer of genes for certain traits between species using laboratory methods. In genetic modification, however, recombinant genetic technology is used to produce organisms whose genomes have been precisely altered at the molecular level, usually by integrating genes from unrelated biological species that encode traits that are difficult to obtain through conventional selective breeding.
Specific, targeted modifications to DNA through biotechnology allow scientists to avoid creating and improving the genetic makeup of an organism without adding undesirable properties. In recent decades, however, modern advances in biotechnology have enabled scientists to directly modify the DNA of microorganisms, crops and animals. Parallel to classical transgenic techniques, a wide range of “new genetic modification techniques” (nGMs) have been developed for the (genetic) modification of organisms, including plants, for research purposes or for crop production. Transgenic is a genetic modification process used in U.S. agriculture many years earlier than cisgene, in which biologists combine the genes of one or more unrelated or distantly related species into the DNA of cultivated plants in an attempt to pass on a selected genetic feature method. This method is also known as “recombinant DNA technology”).
In most countries, genetically modified (GM) crops created using recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology are regulated by biosecurity mechanisms established by specific legislation. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be approved at the European Union (EU) level before GM crops can be used in the EU, in agriculture or as feed or food. GM crops currently grown in the U.S., improved traits, and percentage of total area planted with GM varieties. Although GM versions of 19 plants have been approved in the United States, only 8 GM crops are grown commercially (Figure 1).
None of the GM crops on the U.S. market have been engineered to be unusually large (Table 1). The oversized vegetable image used to support the GM image of Franken Foods may not be a GM food at all; the unusually large vegetable was likely created through less controversial breeding or food additives rather than genetic engineering. The resulting plants are considered “transgenic,” when virtually all crops are “transgenic” from their original wild state through long-term domestication, selection, and controlled breeding. The cultivated plants were then carefully tested, and the researchers looked for differences between the genetically modified (GM) plants and their conventional counterparts.
Once scientists have identified a trait and isolated the specific gene that controls that trait, the next step in development is to transfer the desired gene into cultivated plants. When determining how to create GMOs with desired traits, scientists must first look for those genes in nature, looking for other organisms, including other plants and microorganisms, that exhibit the traits they want expressed in the transgenic plants, not Transgenic plants. Researchers can then use plant genetic databases to identify new traits of interest and optimize desirable traits in crops by selecting the best genotypes based on plant phenotypes. New genetic modification techniques may further increase the diversity of desired crop trait combinations.
As research in crop biotechnology continues, a wider range of traits will become available, each of which will have a different effect on yield. Many commercial crops, including corn, cotton, rice, soybean, rapeseed and alfalfa, now have multiple GMO varieties that increase yield potential or yield value by providing herbicide tolerance, insect tolerance, stress tolerance or production performance. Examples of GM crops include varieties of corn containing a gene for a bacterial pesticide that kills larvae of pests, and soybeans with an inserted gene that makes them resistant to herbicides such as Roundup.
For example, transgenic crops may contain one or more genes that have been artificially inserted in place of the plants from which they were obtained by pollination. Genes were added or removed from transgenic crops using genetic engineering methods , initially including gene gun, electroporation, microinjection, and Agrobacterium. Only 10 GM crops are currently sold in the U.S., but other countries have approved others, and many more are being developed in the U.S. and around the world, including cassava, cowpea, pineapple, sorghum, tomatoes, and wheat. . .