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Genetic engineering

When scientists understood the structure of genes and just how the data they carried was translated into functions or characteristics, they did start to search for approaches to isolate, analyze, modify, and also transfer them in one organism to a new take a whole new characteristic. This is what exactly genetic engineering is about, which could be defined as some methodologies that allows genes to become transferred from one organism to a new and expressed (to generate the proteins in which these genes encode) in organisms aside from the main one of origin. DNA that mixes fragments of numerous organisms is named recombinant DNA. Consequently, the techniques used in genetic engineering are called recombinant DNA techniques. Thus, it is possible not just in obtain recombinant proteins appealing but also to improve crops and animals. The organisms that receive a gene that provides them a whole new characteristic are classified as genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Subsequently, genetic engineering is what characterizes modern biotechnology that implements these methods in the output of goods and services useful to humans, environmental surroundings and industry.


Obtaining a transgenic organism through genetic engineering techniques involves the involvement associated with an organism that donates the gene of curiosity plus a recipient organism in the gene that can express the newest desired trait. As an example, from the particular the event of the production of a number of maize that is resistant against insect attack, the donor organism is the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that the gene that determines the synthesis from the insecticide protein is extracted, as well as the recipient organism from the gene may be the maize plant. The stages and methods linked to this method could be:

Corroborate that you have a gene encoding to the characteristic of interest. Every time a characteristic is found in a living thing that is of great interest for transfer to an alternative organism, it ought to be verified that it is the product of your gene. The gene of curiosity is identified by cross-breeding from your characteristic that is expressed, and also the Mendelian proportions are verified (see Notebooks 40 and 41). If the characteristic is caused by a protein, that is a direct product of your gene, quite simply to transfer that characteristic to a organism without it.

Clone the gene of interest. Cloning a gene means having it pure within the test tube, or even better, in a vector (a greater DNA molecule that enables you to store DNA fragments in the stable and practical opportinity for longer). The work of cloning a gene involves several techniques (see Notebook No. 67): i) DNA extraction; ii) Trying to find a gene inside the DNA gene mix; iii) Sequencing; iv) Construction with the recombinant vector. The DNA of curiosity is inserted into plasmid-vectors which are linear or circular DNA molecules where a DNA fragment may be "stored" (cloned). Probably the most frequently used are plasmids of bacterial origin.

Plasmids can be removed from bacteria and integrated into others over the transformation process. The plasmids were modified from the researchers to be used as vectors (vehicles). Thus, the gene of interest may be inserted in to the plasmid-vector and utilized in a fresh cell.

The development of these techniques was developed possible usually by the invention of restriction enzymes (see Notebook No. 34 and 49). Restriction enzymes recognize certain sequences in DNA. Thus, by knowing the sequence of your DNA fragment, it is possible to isolate it from the original genome and insert it into another DNA molecule. There are several restriction enzymes purchased from bacteria that provide as tools for genetic engineering.

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