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Genetically Modified Organisms (Transgenics) – “ The Right to Know”. Princeton Satellite 2013 Kathy McKone. What does it mean to be genetically modified?. Inserting a desired gene from one organism into an organism of a different species. WHY Bother w/ GM Food?.

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Genetically modified organisms transgenics the right to know

Genetically Modified Organisms (Transgenics) –“The Right to Know”

Princeton Satellite 2013

Kathy McKone

What does it mean to be genetically modified
What does it mean to be genetically modified?

Inserting a desired gene from one organism into an organism of a different species.

Why bother w gm food
WHY Bother w/ GM Food?

  • 1980 World Population = 4.5 Billion

  • 2011 World Population = 7 Billion

  • Farmable Land disappearing

  • Worries about ability to produce enough food

  • Concerns of pesticide & herbicide overuse; and long-term effects of these chemicals

The workhorse of genetic engineering bacteria
The Workhorse of Genetic Engineering = Bacteria

General GMO:

More Advanced:

BioRad Intro:


    Genetically Engineering Insulin

Which foods contain gm product
Which foods contain GM product?

US Approval for GM food crops

  • Corn

  • Soy

  • Papaya

  • Canola

  • Potato

  • Chicory

  • Rice

  • Squash

  • Sugarbeet

  • Tomatoes

    Approval does not necessarily mean these crops are distributed

    Database of GM crops:

Agriculture genetically modified gm organisms

Inserting genes from one organism (Bacteria) into another organism (Plant).

Adding genes to plants can make them draught or insect resistant.

1994: first GM food was sold: Flavr Savr tomato = able to ripen on the vine & not turn to mush; wasn’t successful b/c of taste

Image:Results of insect infestation on Bt (right) and non-Bt (left) cotton bolls. Source: USDA

Agriculture: Genetically Modified (GM) Organisms

According to the usda in the u s in 2011
According to the USDA, in the U.S. in 2011:

  • CROPS genetically modified:

  • 94% soy

  • 88% corn

  • 90% cotton

  • Which item would NOT be a good selection to test with students?

Which foods contain gm product1
Which foods contain GM product?

Sources: 1996-1999 Fernandez and McBride, 2000-2004: USDA, National Agriculture Statistics Service, Acreage.

Gm foods are not required to be labeled in us
GM Foods are NOT required to be labeled in US.

*Monsanto, Pesticide Companies Spend $7.1 Million to Defeat Right to Know GMO Labeling Measure in CA

Cell biology review three segments of a gene

1) Promoter = found at the beginning of a gene; docking site of RNA polymerase

2) Gene = codes for protein of interest (pest resistance)

3)Terminator = stop transcription

Cell Biology REVIEW:Three Segments of a Gene

Why use camv 35s and nos
Why use CaMV 35S and NOS?

CaMV 35S – Sequence for the promoter of 35S transcript of the Cauliflower mosaic virus.

Used because it functions in every plant cell

NOS- Sequence fornopaline synthase terminator from soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefacians

Used because it evolved to be recognized in most plants

65% of food crops use CaMV promoter; adding NOS detection ~ 85%

Most used promoter used in gm crops

The Cauliflower Mosaic Virus promoter (CaMV 35S) is used in most transgenic crops to activate foreign genes which have been artificially inserted into the host plant

Most Used Promoter used in GM crops

Popular gene from soil bacterium bacillus thuringiensis bt
Popular gene from soil bacterium: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)

  • Bt gene  protein endotoxin (lethal to many insects)

  • Pesticides are not needed for crops!

  • Endotoxins are activated by the HIGHLY ALKALINE insect mid-gut.

  • Also kills non-target insects (monarch butterfly).

Desirable traits
Desirable Traits

  • Pest Resistance

  • Herbicide Tolerance

  • Viral Resistance

  • Drought Resistance

  • Increased Nutritional Value; golden rice (beta carotene)

  • Improved Fruit

  • Altered Ripening

Opponents argue
Opponents argue

  • Creation of super pests

  • Creation of super weeds

  • Loss of biodiversity

  • Biotechnology companies control agriculture

Gmo based web sites


University of Nebraska



GMO-Based Web Sites

Biorad s gmo investigator kit contents
BioRad’s GMO Investigator Kit Contents

  • Bio-Rad certified Non-GMO food

  • InstaGene

  • Master Mix

  • GMO primers

  • Plant PSII primers

  • GMO & PSII positive control DNA

  • PCR MW Ruler

  • DPTPs, microtubes, PCR tubes, foam floats

  • Manual

Not Included but required:

  • Thermal cycler

  • Water bath/heat block

  • Electrophoresis Module (agarose, TAE buffer & Fast Blast DNA stain)

  • Electrophoresis equipment & power supply

  • 2-20 ul pipettes & barrier tips