- Slides: 21
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s)
What is a Genetically Modified Organism? • A Genetically modified organism (GMO) is an living organism whose genetic material has been artificially changed through genetic engineering
How It Works • GMO’s are the work of genetic engineering and result in genes and genetic material being able to be moved into another organisms genome • Recombinant DNA: any artificially created DNA molecule that brings together DNA sequences that are not usually found together in nature • The gene that has been passed along can change the observable characteristics • Ex. Bt corn (Bacillus thuringiensis) - Resistance against insects
Types of Genetically Modified Organisms • Genetically modified plants: • Ex. soybeans, corn, wheat, gold rice, cotton, etc. • Genetically modified animals: • Ex. Modified cows, hypoallergenic pets • Genetically modified microorganisms: • Ex. bacteria
Genetically Modified Plants • Plants who have been given specific genes from other plants to improve their abilities
Genetically Modifying VS. Traditional Breeding Methods • For many years plants with favorable characteristics and traits have been produced through breeding methods • Desirable traits are selected and combined through crossing over different species over several generations usually taking up to 15 years to complete ex. Cross pollinating VS. • A gene is equipped with a certain protein that will result in the plant gaining a specific trait or characteristic ex. resistance to pesticide • Genetic engineering allows this process to greatly sped up by introducing a small number of genes and also eliminates certain species from not being able to combine with certain other species ex. Flavr-Savr tomato
General Goals of Genetically Modified Plants • Insect resistance: Insect resistance is a highly desired trait in agriculture. Even though pesticides can be very effective, they can be toxic to things not targeted like other species of bugs or animals and humans. To reduce the use of pesticides some plants have been genetically modified to produce proteins that only affect the specific pest. An example is Bt plants, which contain a gene from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis which produces a protein which selectively kills caterpillars. • Improved nutrition content: Genetic engineering has been used to improve the nutritional content of cereal grains. An example is Golden Rice which has had several genes introduced to it increasing the amount of Vitamin A highly.
• Disease Resistance: Plants can face diseases just like animals do and can be particularly dangerous to similar crops in large fields. Genetic engineering can be used to directly insert disease resistance into a crop genome. This disease resistance can allow for a crop to survive diseases it wouldn’t normally survive • Post-Harvest improvements: Many crops are damaged easily or ripen to quickly are difficult to store and transport. Even though refrigeration, careful handling procedure, and chemicals can be used to slow theses processes down it can increase the costs. Genetic engineering can help to improve post-harvest characteristics of fruit or vegetable. For example the arctic apple enzymes involved in ripening and browning have been reduced.
• Herbicide Resistance: Plants can be genetically altered to be resistant to specific chemical herbicides. This allows for pesticides to kill the weeds without affecting the crops. Ex. Roundup ready Roundup Ready are crops that were resistant to the herbicide Roundup, which was used to kill weeds and other unwanted plants • Roundup Ready crops could have the herbicide sprayed directly on them with out affecting the crop at all and eliminating weeds much more efficiently • Roundup Ready crop seeds have been referred to as "terminator seeds” because the crops produced from Roundup Ready seeds are sterile. Each year, farmers would have to purchase the most recent seeds from Monsanto the company who made them. This meant that farmers couldn’t reuse their best seed.
Arctic Apple • The arctic apple does not brown like the typical apple because the genes that produce polyphenol enzymes have been greatly reduced • Meaning the chemical reaction leading to browning of the apple takes much longer to occur • No evidence has been shown proving these apples have any more risk than the typical apple
Controversy Advantages of GMO crops: Arguments against GMO crops: - Increased amount of crops produced - Reduced pesticide use - Resistance to pesticides/herbicides/diseases - Improved nutritional content in certain products - Reduced cost to produce/transport - Help feed more people in developing countries - The fruit/vegetable can stay fresh longer -The danger of unintentionally introducing allergens (allergies) to the foods -The chance of transgenes escaping from crops into wild species -The chances of pests developing a resistance to the toxins produced by GM crops -The risk of these toxins affecting non targeted organisms. -By removing one pest that harms the crop, you could be removing a food source for an animal. -Given that some GM foods are modified using bacteria and viruses, there is a fear that we will see the development of new diseases.
Genetically Modified Animals • What is a genetically modified animal? A genetically modified animal is an animal which has had its genetic material altered by adding, changing or removing certain DNA sequences that would not occur naturally. The aim is improve characteristics such as disease resistance or enhanced growth
Information on GM Animals An GM animal is created when a piece of genetic material is inserted into the chromosome of the animal which creates a change in traits/characteristics of the original species • Biologists have been working on animal genomes for several decades working to increase muscle mass (meat), speed up growth rates, and increase traits the food business desires • However no genetically modified animals have been approved for human consumption
The Aqua Bounty Salmon • Scientists took a growth hormone regulating gene from the pacific salmon and inserted it into the Atlantic salmon resulting in the Aqua Bounty Salmon • The fish fully grows in 16 -18 months compared to the typical 3 years
Controversy Advantages of GM Animals: Arguments against GM Animals: -Animals can be engineered to be more resistant to diseases - Animals can be engineered to produce more meat and produce more milk - Ability to reproduce at a much faster rate -Animals can grow much quicker than the unmodified animal -Require less food - Its unethical - When engineering animals the eco-system can be disturbed - Some animals can be killed or others can be born deformed - Animals can be raised in unnatural conditions - Potential for humans to become sick from the meat - Uncertainty
Genetically Modified Microorganisms • Genetically modified bacteria were the first organisms to be genetically modified because of their simple genetics • GM bacteria can be used to replicate and alter genes that can be introduced into plants and animals • due to their rapid reproduction rates It is easy to produce a genetically identical bacteria - all containing the wanted gene in a short period.
Regulations of Genetically modified Organisms in Canada • In order for a GMO food go on shelves in Canada it must pass the scientific assessment: • Scientific assessment: analysis of: potential of toxins/allergens, potential for any unintended secondary effects, chemical safety of food, composition of food, and key nutrients • Food Labeling: Currently in Canada labeling if a foods composition has been changed it must stated in the labeling. Health Canada also states that the labels must not be misleading and are understandable
Regulations in other countries • The United States have almost identical regulations as Canada in terms of GMO’s and also have similar regulation with Brazil, Argentina • Europe has very strict regulations on GMO’s • A high number European country have completely banned GMO’s (ex. France, England, Germany) and the others have put on very strict regulations (ex. Romania, Luxemburg) • Other countries for different continents worldwide have very strict regulation regarding GMO’s compared to Canada and the US
sources • http: //www. nature. com/scitable/topicpage/genetically-modified-organisms-gmostransgenic-crops-and-732 • http: //www. bt. ucsd. edu/gmo. html • http: //www. who. int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modifiedfood/en/ • http: //www. davidsuzuki. org/what-you-can-do/queen-of-green/faqs/food/understandinggmo/ • http: //www. cbc. ca/news/canada/british-columbia/arctic-apple-developed-in-b-c-approved -for-sale-in-canada-1. 3003875 • http: //www. wired. com/2015/07/eating-genetically-modified-animals/ • http: //www. bbc. com/news/science-environment-31604233 http: //www. hc-sc. gc. ca/sr-sr/pubs/biotech/reg_gen_mod-eng. php http: //www. geneticallymodifiedfoods. co. uk/fact-sheet-pros-vs-cons. html http: //www. bbc. com/news/science-environment-31604233 • http: //gmo. wikidot. com/general-types-of-gmos • http: //www. efsa. europa. eu/en/topics/topic/gmanimals • http: //www. learner. org/courses/biology/textbook/gmo_2. html • http: //www. debate. org/opinions/pros-yes-and-cons-no-of-genetically-modified-animals • http: //www. nongmoproject. org/learn-more/