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THE PHARMA REVIEW (JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2012)

Transgenic Plant Production Technology: Present and Future Prospective

Smriti Gaur1, Pammi Gauba1, Sanjiv Kumar Maheshwari2 & Dr. Rachana1

Abstract: Transgenic plants are gaining more and more importance these days mainly, because of their two important applications: expression and production of therapeutic molecules in plants and obtaining pest, herbicide and stress resistant crops varieties. A lot of success has been achieved in this area but, still there are certain controversies and apprehensions regarding their uses. These are majorly related to their exposure (genetically modified organisms) to the natural environment. There are chances that, the artificially recombined genes may get transferred to other species unknowingly and unwantedly and may result into unexpected ecological outcomes. Recently, golden rice and Bt cotton and Bt brinjal have been the hot issues in scientific and political world as, there are environmental concerns and there is lot of hesitation and fear among people for incorporating genetically modified plant products in diets. The present article describes few basic features, history and scientific facts about the production and application of transgenic plants in today’s world.

 
Introduction: Transgenic plants are plants having one or more genes, which have been artificially inserted by using recombinant DNA technology. The first transgenic plant was made in early 1980’s. One of the aims of inserting a combination of genes in a plant is to make it as useful and productive for specific purposes. Transgenic plants represent an economical alternative to fermentation-based production systems. Other than using these plants for production of foreign proteins/therapeutic molecules, this technique is also helpful to improve the “crop yield” and “stress tolerance limits” of the plants themselves. The capacity to introduce and express diverse foreign genes in plants was first described for tobacco in 19841,2,3. Now, there are more than 120 such species in at least 35 families. More than 30 countries are in progress or have completed over 3000 field trials of transformed plants4.
Transgenic plants can be created either by stable integration of foreign DNA, which results in transformation of the nuclear genome, or by transient expression using modified plant viruses. Stable genomic integration is mediated by insertion of foreign DNA in the plant either by Agro bacterium T-DNA vectors or by direct means. The advantages of this method are allows large scale cloning, maintenance of selected high-expressing genes and the ability to sexually cross transgenes to obtain multiple proteins expressed in the same plant5. Whereas, in transient expression, the viral vector must be inoculated into individual host plants. In this method the viral vectors are harder to integrate, though it gives a greater yield of protein.

 

 

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