Biotechnology Products – Transgenic Plants, Transgenic Animals

Biotechnology Products

Biotechnology is a broad field of biology, involving the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products. The products produced by genetically engineered organisms are called biotechnology products. Today bacteria, plants, and animals are genetically engineered to produce biotechnology products.

Organisms that have a foreign gene inserted into them are called transgenic organisms.

Transgenic Bacteria

Recombinant DNA technology is used to produce bacteria that replicate in large vats called bioreactors. If the foreign gene is replicated and actively expressed, a large quantity of protein product can be acquired. Biotechnology items produced by bacteria, such as insulin, human growth hormone, tissue plasminogen activator, hemophilia factor Vm, and Hepatitis B vaccine are now in the market.


Advantages of Transgenic Bacteria

Promoting Health of plants
Transgenic bacteria have actually been produced to promote the health of plants, for example, bacteria that normally live on plants and encourage the development of ice crystals have been altered from frost – plus to frost – minus bacteria. Also, a bacterium that normally colonizes the roots of plants has actually now been endowed with genes (from another bacterium) that code for an insect toxin. The toxin secures the roots from pests.

Cleaning up after oil spills
Bacteria can be picked for their ability to degrade a particular compound and then this capability can be improved by genetic engineering. For instance, naturally taking place bacteria may be crafted to do an even much better job of tidying up beaches after oil spills.

As Bio-filters
Industries have discovered that bacteria can be used as biofilters to prevent airborne chemical toxins from being vented into the air. They can also eliminate sulfur from coal before it is burned and assist to clean up toxic waste dumps.

One such strain was given a gene that allowed it to clean up levels of toxins that would have killed other strains. Even more, these bacteria were given “suicide” genes that caused them to self-destruct when the job had been accomplished.

Synthesis of Organic Chemicals
Organic chemicals are often manufactured by having catalysts act on precursor molecules or by using bacteria to carry out the synthesis. Today, it is possible to go one step further and to control the genes that code for these enzymes.

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For example, biochemists found a strain of bacteria that is specifically proficient at producing phenylalanine; a natural chemical required to make aspartame, the dipeptide sweetener better known as NutraSweet. They isolated, altered, and formed a vector for the appropriate genes so that various bacteria could be genetically engineered to produce phenylalanine.

Bioleaching capabilities
Many major mining companies already utilize bacteria to acquire various metals. Genetic engineering may boost the capability of bacteria to draw out copper, uranium, and gold from low-grade sources. Some mining companies are testing genetically engineered organisms that have actually improved bioleaching abilities.

2.Transgenic Plants

Strategies have been developed to introduce foreign genes into immature plant embryos, or into plant cells that have had the cell wall removed and are called protoplasts. It is possible to treat protoplasts with an electric current while they are suspended in a liquid containing foreign DNA. The electric current makes small, self-scaling holes in the plasma membrane through which genetic material can enter. Then a protoplast will develop into a complete plant.



Advantages of Transgenic Plants

Foreign genes transferred to cotton, com, and potato strains have made these plants resistant to insects because their cells now produce an insect toxin. Likewise, soybeans have actually been made resistant to a common herbicide. Some corn and cotton plants are both insects and herbicide-resistant.

In 1999 these transgenic crops were planted on more than 70 million acres around the world and the acreage is anticipated to triple in about five years. Improvements to still come for are increased protein or starch material and modified oil or amino acid structure.

Agribusiness companies also are in the process of developing transgenic variations of wheat and rice in addition to com. This is considered an absolute necessity if the 2020 international demand for rice, wheat, and com is to be met. World grain harvests have actually continued to increase since the 1960s when special high-yield hybrid plants were developed during the so-called green revolution. But the per capita production has actually now flattened out because of continued population growth.

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Boost CO2 consumption and lower water loss
The hope is that genetic engineering will allow farmers to go beyond the yield barrier. Maybe, the stomata, the pore-like openings in the leaves, could be become improve carbon dioxide intake or reduce water loss. Another possible goal is to increase the efficiency of the enzyme Rubisco which captures CO2 in the majority of plants.

A group of Japanese researchers is trying to introduce the C4 cycle into the rice. Plants that utilize the C4 cycle avoid the inefficiency of carboxylase by using different ways of capturing CO2. Unlike the single gene transfers that have been done so far, these modifications would require a comprehensive re-engineering of plant cells.

Production of biodegradable plastic
Single gene transfers will cause plants to produce various items. A weed called mouse-eared cress has actually been engineered to produce a naturally degradable plastic (polyhydroxy-butyrate) in cell granules. Plants are being engineered to produce human hormonal agents, clotting factors, and antibodies in their seeds.

Production of Chemicals
One type of antibody made by com can deliver radioisotopes to tumor cells, and another made by soybeans can be used as a treatment for herpes. Plant-made antibodies are affordable and there is little worry over contamination with pathogens that could infect individuals. Clinical trials have actually started.

Transgenic Animals

Techniques have been developed to insert genes into the eggs of animals. It is possible to micro eggs by hand, but another method utilizes vortex mixing.

Vortex Mixing Method
The eggs are positioned in an agitator with DNA and silicon – carbide needles, and the needles make small holes through which the DNA can enter. When these eggs are fertilized, the resulting offspring are transgenic animals.

Advantages of Transgenic Animals

Utilizing this technique many types of animal eggs have used up the gene for bovine growth hormonal agent. The treatment has actually been used to produce larger fishes’, cows, pigs, rabbits, and sheep. Genetically engineered fishes are now being kept in ponds that offer no escape to the wild due to the fact that there is many issues that they will disturb or destroy natural ecosystems.

Gene pharming, the’ use of transgenic farm animals to produce pharmaceuticals is being pursued by a variety of firms.

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Production of diagnostic proteins
Genes that code for therapeutic, and diagnostic proteins are incorporated into the animal’s DNA and the proteins appear in the animal’s milk. There are plans to produce drugs for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, cancer, blood diseases, and other conditions.

Anti-Blood clotting factors
Antithrombin III, for preventing blood clots during surgical treatment, is presently being produced by a herd of goats, and clinical trials have started. DNA including the gene of interest is injected into donor eggs. Following in vitro fertilization, the zygotes are positioned in host females where they develop. After female offspring fully grew, the product is secreted in the milk.

Production of human growth hormone
The researchers of the United States Department of Farming have actually had the ability to genetically craft mice to produce human growth hormone in their urine instead of in milk. They anticipate being able to utilize the exact same technique on bigger animals.

Urine is a preferable channel for a biotechnology product than milk due to the fact that all animals in a herd urinate – just females produce milk; animals start to urinate at birth – female do not produce milk until maturity; and it’s easier to extract proteins from urine than from milk.


Today biotechnology products are produced from genetically engineered bacteria, plants and animals. Transgenic organisms are those having foreign genes inserted into them.

For bacteria, recombinant DNA technology is used. These bacteria are produced for synthesis of pharmaceutical products. Some of these are insulin, human growth hormone, hemophilia factor VIII.

These genetically engineered bacteria are used to promote health of plants, in degrading a particular substance, as biofilters and also in mining industry for obtaining various metals.

The plants are also genetically modified for pest and herb resistance. For increasing the production of wheat, rice and corn.

In animals, the genes for bovine growth hormone are injected using biotechnology. Gene pharming is used to produce many antibiotics and hormones in animals.