Gene Design 2 - Gene Constructs Glossary

35S promoter

The promoter region of a gene from a Cauliflower mosaic virus. This promoter induces gene expression in all cells all of the time.

Agrobacteria

A soil bacteria that can be a plant pathogen. It works as a natural genetic engineer by invading a plant through wounds and inserting a piece of DNA into the plant's chromosomes. The plant will then begin producing the protein encoded by the inserted gene. Bacillus thuringiensis is a strain of agrobacteria.

Agrobacterium

A soil bacteria that can be a plant pathogen. It works as a natural genetic engineer by invading a plant through wounds and inserting a piece of DNA into the plant's chromosomes. The plant will then begin producing the protein encoded by the inserted gene. Bacillus thuringiensis is a strain of agrobacteria.

amino acids

The basic building blocks of proteins. The sequence of amino acids in a protein and protein function are determined by the genetic code.

Bt corn

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

Bt genes

Genes originating from the Bacillus thuringiensissoil bacteria that encode a protein toxic to the European corn borer.

Bt protein

Another name for the CryIA proteins. These proteins occur naturally in Bacillus thuringiensisbacteria and are toxic to European Corn Borer.

catalyzes

Speeds up.

chloroplast

An organelle within the plant cell in which the photosynthetic reactions are compartmentalized. The thylakoid membranes within the chloroplast are the site of the photosynthetic pigments and electron transfer components used to make energy from photosynthesis. The non-membrane space within the chloroplast is called the stroma; this is where photosynthetic energy is used to convert CO2 into sugars.

coding regions

Region of the DNA sequence between the promoter and the termination sequence. It contains the instructions about how to make a specific protein.

CTP

(Chloroplast Transit Peptide): Specific amino acid sequences added to proteins which direct them to go to the chloroplast of the plant cell.

endotoxin

A protein that works internally as a toxin.

enzyme

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

EPSPS

An enzyme that catalyzes a reaction in plant and bacteria cells that is necessary for the synthesis of some amino acids. Roundup herbicide binds to this enzyme preventing the production of amino acids and eventually starving the plant to death.

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.

genes

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.

hybrids

Individuals produced by crossing two parents of different genotypes.

PEP carboxylase promoter

Phosphenol pyruvate (PEP) carboxylase is an enzyme used in photosynthesis. The promoter of this gene induces protein production in actively photosynthesizing tissues of plants.

promoter

A specific DNA sequence to which RNA polymerase binds and initiates transcription. This region contains information which regulates when and how often the gene is transcribed and ultimately the amount of protein it produces.

promoters

A specific DNA sequence to which RNA polymerase binds and initiates transcription. This region contains information which regulates when and how often the gene is transcribed and ultimately the amount of protein it produces.

protein

A large molecule composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order. Proteins are necessary for the structure, function, and regulation of an organism's cells, tissues, and organs. Each protein has a unique function determined by its shape.

protein synthesis

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

proteins

Large molecules composed of one or more chains of amino acids in a specific order. Proteins are necessary for the structure, function, and regulation of the organism's cells, tissues, and organs. Each protein has a unique function determined by its shape.

resistance

The ability of an organism to survive and thrive in the presence of something that would normally cause damage or death, i.e., herbicide-resistant corn, Roundup-ready corn.

roundup

A herbicide that provides non-selective control of several annual and perennial weeds. Roundup will also damage crops, such as corn and soybeans that are not Roundup-resistant.

Roundup-resistant

A plant that is not harmed by the application of Roundup herbicide, i.e., Roundup Ready Corn, Roundup Ready Soybeans.

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.

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.

yield drag

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