Transformation 3 - Transformation Events Glossary

Bt corn

Corn that has been transformed with the Bt gene and is resistant to European corn borer.

chromosome

A genetic structure in a cell composed of condensed DNA, which contains the genetic code for an organism.

chromosomes

The genetic structures in cells composed of condensed DNA, which contain the genetic code for an organism.

chromosomes

The genetic structures in cells composed of condensed DNA ,which contain the genetic code for an organism.

DNA

(deoxyribonucleic acid) The molecule that encodes genetic information. DNA is a double-stranded molecule held together by weak bonds between base pairs of nucleotides. It is the fundamental substance of which genes are composed.

enzyme

A protein that catalyzes, or speeds up, a specific biochemical reaction without changing the nature of the reaction.

event

The insertion of a particular transgene into a specific location on a chromosome. Events are differentiated by two factors: 1) what transgene was inserted, and 2) where on the chromosome it inserted and how many gene copies inserted at that locus.

events

The term used to differentiate different transgenic crops. Each event is the insertion of a particular transgene into a specific location on a chromosome. Events are differentiated by two factors: 1) what transgene was inserted, and 2) where on the chromosome it inserted and how many gene copies inserted at that locus.

gamete

A mature male or female reproductive cell (sperm or ovum) containing half of the total number of chromosomes in a cell (i.e., humans have 46 chromosomes per cell; gametes would have 23).

gene

The fundamental unit of heredity that carries genetic information from one generation to the next. A gene is an ordered sequence of nucleotides located on a particular position on a particular chromosome that encodes a specific functional protein.

gene expression

The production of a protein encoded by a gene. Gene expression is controlled by the promoter region of the gene.

gene silencing

The inactivation of a gene by an organism to prevent the gene from expressing.

genetic engineering

The process of adding foreign DNA to the genome of an organism.

hybrid

An individual produced by crossing two parents of different genotypes.

marker

An easy to detect trait controlled by a known gene. Markers, such as antibiotic or herbicide resistance, are often used to determine if an organism is transgenic.

mutation

Any change in a DNA sequence.

nucleus

The part of the plant or animal cell that contains the chromosomes.

progeny

The offspring of an organism.

protein synthesis

The production of proteins in a cell. Proteins are chains of amino acids linked in the order determined by the genetic code.

replication

The copying of a DNA molecule.

RNA

Ribonucleic Acid.  A single-stranded nucleic acid similar to DNA but having a uracil rather than thymine as one of the nucleotides. The RNA strand carries the coded information from the nucleus to the cytoplasm where protein production occurs.

trait

The characteristic that results from an expressing gene(s). Ex. Upright leaves, drought tolerance, Bt resistance. A trait can be influenced by the environment.

transformation

A process by which extra genetic material is inserted into the cells of an individual.

transgene

A gene that has been genetically altered. They are usually used to transform organisms.

transgenic

An organism that has a new genetically engineered DNA sequence found in every one of its cells. Genetically engineered organisms are transgenic. These two terms are used interchangeably.

transgenic plant

A plant that has a new genetically engineered DNA sequence present in every one of its cells. Genetically engineered plants are transgenic plants. These two terms are used interchangeably.

variety

Crop plants within a species that have the same genetic composition. Because plants in a variety are usually heterozygous, their offspring will not remain genetically pure (i.e., corn hybrid varieties).

yield drag

A negative effect on grain yield associated with crop plants that have a specific gene or a specific trait.

yield potential

The highest yield a plant (hybrid, variety, etc.) is capable of producing when grown in ideal conditions.