What are Genetically Modified Crops? Examples & Benefits

Typically, a crop is considered to be genetically modified when its DNA has been altered using genetic engineering methods. These types of crops include transgenic crops (plants containing genetic material that has been altered through physical means), cisgenic crops (plants containing genetic material derived through the process of chromosome duplication), and herbicide-tolerant crops.


GM cotton is a type of crop genetic modification in which a gene is introduced into a cotton plant to make it resistant to a certain herbicide. In addition to this effect, the use of GM cotton can lead to reduced pest populations and better pest control. In Mexico, GM cotton varieties have been released since 2005.

GM cotton seeds are tested for germination under warm and cold temperatures. They are then verified for identity through event-specific PCR analysis. They were also assessed by a Southern analysis of genomic DNA from five generations of the cotton plants. Then, a bioinformatics analysis of the insert was conducted to assess the stability of the insert over several generations. The bioinformatics results suggest that the DNA does not facilitate homologous recombination.

In a bioinformatics analysis of amino acid sequences, updated bioinformatics analyses showed no similarities between the 2mEPSPS and HPPD W336 proteins and any known allergens or toxins. The bioinformatics analysis also showed no increased likelihood of horizontal gene transfer, a process whereby genetic material is transferred from one plant to another by horizontal gene transfer (HGT).

The presence of a single insertion has been confirmed by PCR-based segregation analysis from five generations of the cotton plant. This analysis also shows that flanking regions are stably inherited in subsequent generations.

In addition, the GMO Panel evaluated the safety of the 2mEPSPS and HPPD W336 protein. The criterion used to assess safety was a sliding window of 80 amino acids. The amino acid sequences of the two proteins are characterised extensively. They support a single insertion segregating in Mendelian fashion.

Compositional analysis was also carried out. The mean values were within the range of non-GM reference varieties. Despite the presence of lint in the GM cotton seeds, they are not included in the compositional analysis. The observed differences in lint length and %lint were not sufficient to overcome other biological factors.

Flavr Savr Tomato

Developed by a California biotech startup called Calgene, Flavr Savr tomato was the first genetically engineered food sold commercially. Its purpose was to increase the shelf life and taste of tomato fruits.

Flavr Savr tomatoes are genetically engineered with an antisense gene that interferes with the production of the enzyme Beta polygalacturonase. This enzyme softens the cell walls of the fruit, making them more susceptible to fungal infections.

The Flavr Savr tomato was not a commercial success. It was expensive to produce and had little taste. It was also soft, making it difficult to pick, machine-pick, or transport.

After a few years, the production of Flavr Savr tomato ceased. Monsanto acquired Calgene in 1997, and the company decided to stop further development of the Flavr Savr tomato.

Flavr Savr tomato was sold for $1.99 per pound at market. It was a premium priced product. The price was more than twice as much as the regular tomato. The company also claimed that the genetic sequences used in Flavr Savr tomatoes were not harmful to the environment. But the company was not profitable, and its management made a decision based on technical expediency and regulatory expediency.

After the failure of Flavr Savr tomato, other companies, including Zeneca, developed tomatoes with similar technology. However, Zeneca did not pursue further development of Flavr Savr tomato. Instead, they moved the genetic ripening trait into premium tomato varieties.

When Monsanto acquired Calgene, it changed the company’s labeling policy. It changed the labeling to indicate that Flavr Savr tomato was genetically modified. The company claimed that the genetic sequences were safe for the environment, and did not pose a risk to plant pests.

Insecticidal crops

Using Genetically Modified (GM) Insecticidal Crops to combat pests has been a topic of interest for scientists. These crops can be genetically engineered to produce proteins that are toxic to pest larvae.

One of the most common GM crops is sweet corn. This crop is resistant to the corn borer, Diabrotica virgifera. It was also developed to ward off the nematode H. zea, which causes serious damage to corn and cotton.

Another GM crop that has been widely used is sugar beet. This crop is resistant to herbicides alone. This has reduced the number of insecticides needed to control insects, which has greatly reduced the number of polyphagous target insects.

The first genetically engineered crop to be approved in the United States was corn. In the 1990s, a large number of GM crops were planted. The total cultivated area of these crops was nearly 100 million ha.

There are five common GM crops: corn, cotton, soybeans, sugar beet, and canola. Each of these crops contains genes that produce proteins that are toxic to pest larvae. The most common GM crop used for vegetable production is sweet corn.

Other GM crops include Bt cotton, Bt soybeans, and Bt sugar beet. These crops contain the same toxins that Bt corn does. These toxins are harmless to vertebrates and are also toxic to specific insect groups.

In addition to containing the Bt toxins, the crops also contain bacterial genes that produce proteins that are toxic to pests. These proteins are referred to as the insecticidal crystal protein (ICCP), truncated delta-endotoxin, or parasporal body. These toxins are produced by the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. They are a type of protoxin that penetrates the epithelial cells of a plant.

Herbicide-tolerant crops

GM crops (genetically modified crops) are crops that have been engineered to tolerate herbicides. The crops were developed by inserting genes from soil bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis. These crops have a number of important environmental benefits. They are also highly cost-effective and increase yields. However, their use has caused concerns.

GM crops have been widely grown in the United States since the mid-1990s. They have also helped farmers in developing countries. These crops are tolerant to herbicides such as glyphosate, which is commonly used in the US.

GM crops have lowered herbicide active ingredient use by 225 million kg. This has led to $21.7 billion in additional farm income. In addition, GM crops have helped farmers in developing countries improve their crop yields. Moreover, their adoption has also lowered the environmental load of pesticides in the US.

Although the benefits of herbicide tolerance may seem significant, there are also concerns about the persistence of GM crops. They may be less competitive in natural environments and may not be able to outcompete fully adapted weeds. Some concerns include the possible impact on pollinator habitat, sustainability of crop production systems, and the potential for the emergence of multiple herbicide-resistant traits.

GM crops have been tested in 256 farm fields in Great Britain. The most notable effect was that insect-resistant crops lowered pesticide use by 25%, while overall production costs remained the same.

In addition, GM crops were found to increase yields by 14%. However, only a few studies are available for a wide range of GM crops. It is not known if these benefits are due to the technology itself, to herbicide tolerance, or to some combination of the two.

Transgenic and cisgenic crops

Until recently, there was little involvement by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the regulation of transgenic and cisgenic crops. However, recent incidents demonstrating the unintended consequences of agriculture biotechnology have caused a great deal of concern.

The evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds has caused an increase in production costs. These issues have also resulted in increased concerns for small-acreage vegetable seed producers. In addition, the recent emergence of transgenic canola has raised concerns for organic crop-seed producers.

Despite the potential advantages of transgenic and cisgenic crops, consumers remain wary of potential health risks. Among other issues, these crops may reduce the diversity of cultivars that are planted. In addition, the tight control of the seed and product sectors raises important issues of market access and anti-trust law.

There are two main types of transgenic crops: chemical and insecticidal. The former are usually applied to insect-prone crops to control the insects. The latter are designed to provide a weed-control benefit. APHIS evaluates the crops to determine whether they are as safe to grow as their unmodified counterparts. The agency also assesses the environmental and social risks associated with transgenic crops.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates pesticides produced by transgenic crops. However, EPA does not regulate the crops themselves. The FDA focuses on human-health risks. However, the FDA does not require mandatory pre-market safety testing of transgenic foods.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not provide acreage reports for transgenic varieties of other crops. However, the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISABA) maintains a database of approved genetically modified crops.

Transgenic and cisgenic crops have generated controversy internationally. The issue of pleiotropy, which refers to the concept that one gene controls multiple traits in an organism, has serious implications for the regulation of these crops.

Leave a Reply

Related articles

  • Getting to Know the Different Types of Crops [Complete Guide]

  • What is a Tenant Farmer? Complete Guide

  • What is Agrivoltaics? Complete Guide

  • What is Agricultural Science? Complete Guide

  • What is Intensive Agriculture? Complete Guide

  • What is a Paddy Field? Complete Guide