Future of Transgenic plants

Transgenic plants are the ones, whose DNA is modified using genetic engineering techniques. The aim is to introduce a new trait to the plant which does not occur naturally in the species. A transgenic plant contains a gene or genes that have been artificially inserted. The inserted gene sequence is known as the transgene, it may come from an unrelated plant or from a completely different species. The purpose of inserting a combination of genes in a plant, is to make it as useful and productive as possible. This process provides advantages like improving shelf life, higher yield, improved quality, pest resistance, tolerant to heat, cold and drought resistance, against a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses. Plants made up of vaccines or antibodies (Plantibodies) are free of human diseases, thus reducing screening costs for viruses and bacterial toxins. The first transgenic plants were reported in 1983. Since then, many recombinant proteins have been expressed in several important agronomic species of plants including tobacco, corn, tomato, potato, banana, alfalfa and canola.

The advancements made with transgenic plants have and will continue to have a great impact on the lives of many. Transgenic plants offer a new approach to producing and administering human antibodies. The use of genetic engineering for the production of biopharmaceuticals like erythropoietin to treat anemia and insulin to treat diabetes are well known. Future generations of Genetically Modified (GM) plants are intended to be suitable for harsh environments and for the Enhancement of Nutrient content, production of pharmaceutical agents and production of Bioenergy and Biofuels.

By – Madhuri Rawat
Forestry Department
Uttaranchal (P.G.) College Of Bio-Medical Sciences & Hospital