Genetic Engineering

Overview of Plant Genetic Engineering

A general description of the overall process of genetic engineering. A basic explanation of the five steps for genetically engineering a crop is provided.

Descripción de la Ingeniería Genética

La ingeniería genética es un tipo de modificación genética que consiste en la adición dirigida de uno o mas genes ajenos al genoma de un organismo. Un gen posee la información que dará a un organismo una característica específica.

DNA and DNA Extraction

This lesson discusses what DNA is and how it relates to genes and chromosomes. How and why DNA is extracted in the genetic engineering process is also covered.


Embryogenesis is the process of initiation and development of an embryo from a zygote (zygotic embryogenesis) or a somatic cell (somatic embryogenesis). This lesson discusses the steps in plant growth at the cellular level from the very beginning through maturity.

European Corn Borer and Bacillus thuringiensis

This lesson contains information about the history, life cycle, and host plants of the European corn borer and information relating to the history and biology of Bacillus thuringiensis.

Gene Cloning

This lesson covers the utilization of gene cloning to isolate and copy a specific gene of interest. The transformation of bacteria with plasmids containing antibiotic resistance genes to make gene libraries and the selection of bacteria colonies that contain the specific gene of interest are described.

Gene Design 1 - Gene Regions

This lesson describes the three gene regions and their roles in gene expression. It also discusses how the regions of a gene can be altered to obtain desired trait expression.

Gene Design 2 - Gene Constructs

This lesson builds upon the gene region lesson discussing the gene construct of currently used hybrids and explaining how these combinations result in a particular gene expression.

The New Bts

Bt corn is a general term used to describe corn hybrid farmers buy that have an additional gene added to one on their chromosomes which originated from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). This lesson tells the story of how different hybrids can contain different Bt genes which encode proteins that have toxicity to different corn pest insects.

Theories Behind Plant Tissue Culture

When introducing a foreign gene into a target genome in plant tissue, you need to grow the transgenic cell to a complete plant. This is done by plant tissue culture, a biotechnique based on the concept that an organ, tissue or cell of a plant can be manipulated to grow back into a complete plant.

Transformation 1 - Plant Tissue Culture

This lesson explains the technique of tissue culture as used in plant transformation. It discusses important issues, such as the use of selectable markers, genotype specificity, and tissue culture alternatives.

Transformation 2 - Transformation Methods

This lesson explains the procedure of introducing a new gene into a plant cell (transformation). It discusses the main goals of the transformation process and describes the four main methods of transformation.

Transformation 3 - Transformation Events

This lesson defines an 'event'. It explains the determining factors specific to an event, the qualities of a desirable event, and the identification and selection of desirable events.