Question: Discuss the general s........... Edit
Answer: A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism that has undergone a recombinant DNA procedure. Recombinant DNA technology involves the transfer of genetic material from one organism to another plant or animal. GMOs are also called transgenic organisms because genes have been transferred. Cloning is not the same as genetic modification because cloning involves replicating the DNA sequence of one organism without changing any genes within the DNA sequence. Genetic modification requires that genes within the DNA sequence be modified. Replication of genetically modified organisms is usually conducted via cloning to maintain the exact gene sequence desired.
The genetic engineering process utilizes viruses and bacteria most often to implant the desired gene(s) into the organism. The gene is surrounded by an activator that causes the gene to switch on or off when desired. The ability to activate or deactivate a trait is the driving force behind genetic engineering.
The first step is to choose and isolate the gene that will be inserted into the genetically modified organism. The gene can be isolated using restriction enzymes to cut DNA into fragments and gel electrophoresis to separate them out according to length. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can also be used to amplify up a gene segment, which can then be isolated through gel electrophoresis. If the chosen gene or the donor organism's genome has been well studied it may be present in a genetic library. If the DNA sequence is known, but no copies of the gene are available, it can be artificially synthesized.
The gene to be inserted into the genetically modified organism must be combined with other genetic elements in order for it to work properly. The gene can also be modified at this stage for better expression or effectiveness. As well as the gene to be inserted most constructs contain a promoter and terminator region as well as a selectable marker gene. The promoter region initiates transcription of the gene and can be used to control the location and level of gene expression, while the terminator region ends transcription. The selectable marker, which in most cases confers antibiotic resistance to the organism it is expressed in, is needed to determine which cells are transformed with the new gene. The constructs are made using recombinant DNA techniques, such as restriction digests, ligations and molecular cloning. The manipulation of the DNA generally occurs within a plasmid.
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