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GMOs Genetically Modified To Be More Resistant To Disease

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Manahil Ibrahim

on 22 April 2014

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Transcript of GMOs Genetically Modified To Be More Resistant To Disease

GMOs Genetically Modified To Be More Resistant To Disease
What is a GMO?
GMO- a Genetically Modified Organism
an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques
can also be transgenic organisms because alterations in GMOs may involve insertion of a gene from another organism
Why are crops genetically modified?
Genetic engineering within food crops is done to create pest and disease resistance, improve crops, and improve product characteristics

Pest and disease resistance: resistance to viruses, fungi, bacteria, insects and mites, and nematodes
Crop improvements: herbicide tolerance and resistance, hormone regulation, and increased yield
Improved product characteristics: more nutrients, more anti-nutritional factors, fewer allergens, and more attributes

Problems in Crops
Plants suffer from infections caused by fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc. which cause heavy losses
Fungi are responsible for a range of serious plant diseases such as blight, grey mold and downy mildew
Ex. Pot virus is a serious viral disease of papaya
Yield losses
Viruses that are often transmitted from plant to plant by insects/pests
Some crops are genetically modified so that they can be made resistant to specific types of diseases, viruses, environmental conditions, and pests
Genetically Modified Crops- to be resistant to disease
When a crop is infected, it spreads throughout the plants and can cause:
the crop to fail - drys out, plants die
the crop to economically fail - not the desired shape and size, has irregular qualities, different tastes
harmful for consumption - could be harmful for animals and humans that eat the crops

Techniques used in crops to be resistant to disease
genetically modified to create anti-pest chemicals within their systems:
pests cannot transfer disease to crop
introducing a gene from a plant that can withstand harsh environmental conditions:
the transgenic plant is then also able to withstand those conditions and have protection against disease/sickness
genetically engineered to be resistant to bacteria:
can be resistant to many infections from bacteria and be immune to them
herbicide tolerant:
the weeds can be killed without affecting/harming the crop itself
modified to have more nutritional value:
genetically modified to contain more nutrients that are lacking in the population
introducing genes from other plants:
using genes encoding specific enzymes that can help with breaking down and genes that will help protect against fungal infections
using biotechnology:
to create virus-resistant plants
Techniques used in crops to be resistant to disease
Ex. giving a plant a viral gene encoding the virus' 'coat protein' this allows the plant to produce this viral protein before the virus infects the plant and if the virus arrives, it is not able to reproduce
GM Crops
aim is to introduce a trait that does not naturally occur in the plant to help improve, and protect the crop
Benefits of Genetically Modified Crops
Insect/pest resistance
Disease resistance - infections, bacteria, fungi, pathogens
Crops can withstand environmental stress
Herbicide tolerance
Improved nutritional value- can be genetically modified to contain additional nutrients (very helpful in third world countries)
Bio pharmaceuticals- modified to create medicines
The product of the crops will be healthier, and have a longer shelf life at stores
The product will not have any sort of infections and farmers can grow much more of the crop
How is it Made Resistant to Disease?
GMOs that are transgenic, have genes inserted into them that are from another species
inserted genes can come form the same species (plant to plant) or between different species (for example, bacteria to plant)
the inserted DNA can be modified slightly in order to correctly and efficiently express the trait in the GMO
Also, the genome can be specifically modified using biotechnology to contain a specific trait
in 1994 it was about to destroy Hawaii’s papaya industry
In 1998, the first transgenic virus-resistant papaya was approved for sale (Disease resistance has been durable for over 15 years)
Transgenic papaya accounts for about 85% of Hawaiian production
Papaya Ringspot Virus
Risks of GM Crops
Environmental Hazards (Unintended harm to other organisms)
Less effectiveness of pesticides
Human health risks
unknown effects on humans health (since not many are on the market)
life threatening allergies due to GMO

its a lengthy and costly process
worry that the price of seeds will become so high that the small farmers in the third world countries won't be able to afford the GM crops
Canadian Government
The Canadian government is allowing GM foods in our food supply as long as they are being approved for safe eating in Canada
Canada currently has no tolerance for contaminating the food supply by GM foods that have not been approved by the Health Canada because of public health and safety policies
Canada is the 5th largest grower of GM crops in the whole world.
Grows 6% of all GM food in the world, such as canola oil, soy, white sugar beet, cotton, papaya and squash

Social and Ethical Concerns
Many people feel that there is too much danger to GMO products
They do not want the population to be consuming these products
There have been many rallies and protests to stop food giants in the US from creating GM crops and food
People also want there to be labels identifying GM food form organic and natural
Another concern is that, it harms many insects and animals in the process, and is un-natural
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