UKPCS Science Life Sciences-Biotechnology: Genetically modified crops : #121

Genetically modified crops:-

Plants,bacteria,fungi and animals whose genes have been altered by manipulation are called genetically modified crops. GM plants have been useful in many ways genetically modified has:

  1. Made crops more tolerant to abiotic stresses(cold, drought,salt,heat)
  2. Reduces reliences on chemical paticles(pre resistance crops)
  3. Helped to reduce post harvest losses.
  4. Increased efficiency of mineral usage by plants (this prevents early exhausted of fertility of soil)
  5. Enhanced nutritional value of food e.g. vitamin ‘A’ enrich rice
  6. GM has been use to create tailor- made to plant to supply resources to industries in the foam of starch, fuel and pharmaceuticalsGenetically modified crops

Bt resistance

The production of pest resistance plant, which could decrease the amount of pesticide used BT toxin is produced by bacterium bacillus thurangienisis (bt cotton). Bt toxin gene has been cloned from the bacteria and been expressed in the plants  provide resistance to insects with the need of insecticides.EX:- BT cotton , rice, tomato, potato and soybean.

Bt cotton

Bt cotton is genetically modified form of cotton which is resistant to the common pests of cotton like moths, beetles, flies. Bt cotton contains the gene for Bt toxin which is a toxin produced by the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis. Hence, Bt cotton produces this toxin which is harmful to the pest but not harmful for other organism. Bt cotton is a plant which produces natural pesticides and helps in reduction in the use of chemical pesticides in cotton fields.

Bt toxin protein  exits as inactive protoxide but once an insect ingest the inactive ingest the inactive toxin, it is converted into an active foam of toxin due to alkaline pH of the gut which solubilise the crystals. The active toxin binds to the surface of midgut, epithelial and create pores that causes cell and lysts and eventually cause death of the insect.

Bt brinjal

Bt brinjal is a suite of transgenic brinjals (also known as an eggplant or aubergine) created by inserting a crystal protein gene (Cry1Ac) from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into the genome of various brinjal cultivars. The insertion of the gene, along with other genetic elements such as promoters, terminators and an antibiotic resistance marker gene into the brinjal plant is accomplished using Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation. The Bt brinjal has been developed to give resistance against lepidopteroninsects, in particular the Brinjal Fruit and Shoot Borer (Leucinodes orbonalis)(FSB). Mahyco, an Indian seed company based in Jalna, Maharashtra, has developed the Bt brinjal.


‘Indian agriculture needs  to switch back to indigenous variety of seeds’. Critically analyse it in light of the recent Bt Brinjal controversy.


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