This includes a much narrower range of technologies that involve movement of genetic material across species boundaries that would not normally occur in nature.
The study of gene function in a wide range of organisms is called genomics. This has allowed advances in our understanding of:
- What genes control what traits in a range of organisms
- How genes function and,
- The sequence of nucleotides that make them up.
Projects are going on all over the world in which scientists are investing time and resources into determining functions of genes in various species, sequencing them as well understanding how they function etc. Modern biotechnology applications are based on this understanding.
Recombinant DNA (rDNA) technology /Genetic modification (GM)
Recombinant DNA technology (rDNA) involves the manipulation of an organism’s DNA by cutting it and recombining it in order to change the characteristics of an organism. This can be:
- To introduce a new trait by inserting DNA from another organism or,
- To remove an undesirable characteristic by preventing the expression of a gene. Read more >
Advantages of rDNA technology over conventional breeding
RDNA technology offers a number of benefits over rDNA technology. Read more >
Another method that is used to introduce DNA from unrelated species is cell/protoplast fusion. A protoplast is a plant cell in which the cell wall has been removed. In this method, the two cells are placed in a medium and manipulated to induce fusion. Read more >
Living Modified Organisms
Individuals whose genetic material has been manipulated using modern biotechnology are referred to as Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Living Modified Organisms (LMOs), or transgenics. Depending on the source of the gene, two types of GMOs can be recognized.
- Cisgenics: The introduced gene is derived from the same species as the recipient organism.
- Transgenics: The introduced gene is obtained from an unrelated species.