What are transgenic plants?

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Transgenic plants pass a gene or genes that have been transferred from a different species. In transgenic process DNA of another species is inserted in a plant genome by natural processes. However the term transgenic plants refer to that plants that have been created in laboratory using recombinant DNA technology. The aim of the creation of transgenic process is to design plants with specific characteristics by artificial insertion of genes from other species or sometimes entirety different kingdoms.

The transgenic plants are generated in laboratory by adding one or more genes to a plant7s genome and this technique is called transformation. This transformation is usually achieved by using gold particle bombardment or through the process of horizontal gene transfer using a soil bacterium, Agrobacterium tumefactions, carrying an engineered plasmid vector.

The transgenic recombinant plants are identified as a class of genetically modified organism which have been deliberately developed
for a variety of reasons such as longer shelf life, disease resistance, herbicide resistance, drought resistance, nutritional improvement fro e.g.- Golden Rice. The first modern recombinant crop approved for sale in the USA was the flavors tomato, which was intended to have a longer shelf life.

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Commercial factors, especially high regulatory and research costs have so for restricted modern transgenic crop varieties to major traded commodity crops but recently research and development projects to enhance crops that are locally important in developing countries are being pursued such as insect protected cow pea for Affrica and insect protected urinal plant for India.

Transgenic plants have been also used for bio- remediation of contaminated soil. Mercury, selenium and organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls have been removed from soils by transgenic plants containing genes for bacterial enzymes.

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