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Gene mapping : Determining the relative physical locations of genes on a chromosome.

Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering – Environmental Biology

Useful for plant and animal breeding. Gene DNA sequencing : Determining the exact sequence of nucleotide bases in a strand of DNA to better understand the behavior of a gene. Genetic engineering : Manipulation of an organism's genes by introducing, eliminating or rearranging specific genes using the methods of modern molecular biology, particularly those techniques referred to as recombinant DNA techniques. Genetically engineered organism GEO : An organism produced through genetic engineering.

Genetic modification : The production of heritable improvements in plants or animals for specific uses, via either genetic engineering or other more traditional methods. Some countries other than the United States use this term to refer specifically to genetic engineering. Genetically modified organism GMO : An organism produced through genetic modification. Genetics : The study of the patterns of inheritance of specific traits. Genome : All the genetic material in all the chromosomes of a particular organism. Genomics : The mapping and sequencing of genetic material in the DNA of a particular organism as well as the use of that information to better understand what genes do, how they are controlled, how they work together, and what their physical locations are on the chromosome.

Genomic library : A collection of biomolecules made from DNA fragments of a genome that represent the genetic information of an organism that can be propagated and then systematically screened for particular properties. A computer-based collection of genetic information from these biomolecules can be a "virtual genomic library. Genotype : The genetic identity of an individual. Genotype often is evident by outward characteristics, but may also be reflected in more subtle biochemical ways not visually evident.

Herbicide-tolerant crops : Crops that have been developed to survive application s of particular herbicides by the incorporation of certain gene s either through genetic engineering or traditional breeding methods. The genes allow the herbicides to be applied to the crop to provide effective weed control without damaging the crop itself. Hybrid : The offspring of any cross between two organisms of different genotypes.

Identity preservation : The segregation of one crop type from another at every stage from production and processing to distribution. This process is usually performed through audits and site visits and provides independent third-party verification of the segregation. Insecticide resistance : The development or selection of heritable traits genes in an insect population that allow individuals expressing the trait to survive in the presence of levels of an insecticide biological or chemical control agent that would otherwise debilitate or kill this species of insect.

The presence of such resistant insects makes the insecticide less useful for managing pest populations.


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Insect-resistance management : A strategy for delaying the development of pesticide resistance by maintaining a portion of the pest population in a refuge that is free from contact with the insecticide. For Bt crops this allows the insects feeding on the Bt toxin to mate with insects not exposed to the toxin produced in the plants. Insect-resistant crops : Plants with the ability to withstand, deter or repel insects and thereby prevent them from feeding on the plant.

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The traits genes determining resistance may be selected by plant breeders through cross-pollination with other varieties of this crop or through the introduction of novel genes such as Bt genes through genetic engineering. Intellectual property rights : The legal protection for inventions, including new technologies or new organisms such as new plant varieties. The owner of these rights can control their use and earn the rewards for their use. This encourages further innovation and creativity for the benefit of us all.

Intellectual property rights protection includes various types of patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Molecular biology: The study of the structure and function of proteins and nucleic acids in biological systems. Mutation : Any heritable change in DNA structure or sequence. The identification and incorporation of useful mutations has been essential for traditional crop breeding.

8.2 Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering

Organic agriculture : A concept and practice of agricultural production that focuses on production without the use of synthetic inputs and does not allow the use of transgenic organisms. USDA's National Organic Program has established a set of national standards for certified organic production which are available online. Outcrossing : Mating between different populations or individuals of the same species that are not closely related. The term "outcrossing" can be used to describe unintended pollination by an outside source of the same crop during hybrid seed production.

Pest-resistant crops : Plants with the ability to withstand, deter or repel pests and thereby prevent them from damaging the plants. Plant pests may include insects, nematodes, fungi, viruses, bacteria, weeds, and other. Pesticide resistance : The development or selection of heritable traits genes in a pest population that allow individuals expressing the trait to survive in the presence of levels of a pesticide biological or chemical control agent that would otherwise debilitate or kill this pest.

The presence of such resistant pests makes the pesticide less useful for managing pest populations. Plant breeding : The use of cross-pollination, selection, and certain other techniques involving crossing plants to produce varieties with particular desired characteristics traits that can be passed on to future plant generations.

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Plant-incorporated protectants PIPs : Pesticidal substances introduced into plants by genetic engineering that are produced and used by the plant to protect it from pests. Plant pests : Organisms that may directly or indirectly cause disease, spoilage, or damage to plants, plant parts or processed plant materials.

Common examples include certain insects, mites, nematodes, fungi, molds, viruses, and bacteria. One use of PCR is in the detection of DNA sequences that indicate the presence of a particular genetically engineered organism. Promoter : A region of DNA that regulates the level of function of other genes.

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Protein : A molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order. Proteins are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's cells, tissues, and organs, and each protein has a unique function. Under appropriate conditions, a recombinant DNA molecule can be introduced into a cell and copy itself replicate , either as an independent entity autonomously or as an integral part of a cellular chromosome.

The condition is albinism , q. Chlorella is grown commercially to make into fish food: it is fed to zooplankton, and these in turn are harvested as feed for fish farms. This is a means of converting sunlight into food in a way more convenient and controllable than normal farming.

One of a pair, or series, of variant forms of a gene that occur at a given locus in a chromosome. Alleles are symbolized with the same basic symbol e. In a normal diploid cell there are two alleles of any one gene one from each parent , which occupy the same relative position locus on homologous chromosomes. Within a population there may be more than two alleles of a gene. See multiple alleles. A powerful means of genotyping for single-locus disorders that have been characterized at the molecular level. The "allele" on the other homologous chromosome in a diploid mammalian cell cannot undergo a functional re-arrangement, which would result in the production of two different antibodies by a single plasma cell.

A polyploid organism usually a plant having multiple sets of chromosomes derived from different species. Hybrids are usually sterile, because they do not have sets of homologous chromosomes and therefore pairing cannot take place. However, if doubling of the chromosome number occurs in a hybrid derived from two diploid 2n species, the resulting tetraploid 4n is a fertile plant, since it contains two sets of homologous chromosome and pairing may occur; this tetraploid is an allotetraploid.

Active forms of allosteric enzymes tend to catalyse the initial step in a pathway leading to the synthesis of molecules. The end product of this synthesis can act as a feedback inhibitor, converting the enzyme to the inactive form, thus controlling the amount of product synthesized.

Usually, in forms that become established, two of the four genomes are from one species and two are from another species. See allopolyploid. See RNA. Ammon , from the Egyptian sun god, in M. An acid containing the group NH 2. According to the side group R, they are subdivided into: polar or hydrophilic serine, threonine, tyrosine, asparagine and glutamine ; non-polar or hydrophobic glycine, alanine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, proline, phenylalanine, tryptophan and cysteine ; acidic aspartic acid and glutamic acid and basics lysine, arginine, hystidine.

The sequence of amino acids determines the shape, properties and the biological role of a protein. Plants and many micro-organisms can synthesize amino acids from simple inorganic compounds, but animals are unable to synthesize some of them, called essential amino acids, so they must be present in the diet.

The maintenance of genetic integrity and diploidy during amitosis is uncertain. This process occurs in the endosperm of flowering plants. Cells are cultured, and metaphase chromosomes are examined for irregularities e. Both fluid and cells are used for diagnosis of genetic abnormalities in the embryo or foetus. In an amphidiploid the two species are known, whereas in other allopolyploids they may not be known. Treatment e. The PCR will amplify any fragment whose sequence happens to start with any of the three-base sequences in the set of primers.

AFLPs have the important advantage that many markers can be generated with relatively little effort. They are a very useful means of quantifying the extent of genetic diversity within and between populations.


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  • Their major disadvantage is that they are not specific to a particular locus and, because they are scored as the presence or absence of a band, heterozygotes cannot be distinguished from homozygotes, i. Plants have both a - and b -amylase; animal have only a -amylase. The water-insoluble portion of starch. The water-soluble portion of starch.

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    See anaerobic respiration. Anaphase follows metaphase and precedes telophase. Usually synthesized by the testes. The maternal nucleus is eliminated or inactivated subsequent to fertilization of the ovum, and the haploid individual referred to as androgenetic contains in its cells the genome of the male gamete only. Androgenesis is detected by cytological staining. See anther culture; gynogenesis; parthenogenesis. Animal cells have the advantage that they already produce many proteins of pharmacological interest, and that genetically engineered proteins are produced by them with the post-translation modifications normal to animals.

    However, because animal cells are much more fragile than bacterial ones, they cannot tolerate a commercial fermentation process.


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    • Typical materials are hollow fibre membrane bioreactors, or porous carriers made of polysaccharide, protein, plastic or ceramic materials with microscopic holes inside which the cells grow.