Gene Design 1 - Gene Regions 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.

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.

coding region

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

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.

European corn borer

Ostrinia nubilalis (Hübner) is a major insect pest in corn that costs farmers millions of dollars annually in control expenditures and yield loss. The European corn borer (ECB) larva feed on the leaves and bore holes into the stalks where they tunnel.

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.

genetic engineering

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

hybrids

Individuals produced by crossing two parents of different genotypes.

lines

Plants within a species that have the same genetic composition and are genetically pure, (i.e., inbred line). Lines are typically not agronomically competitive and are used only in plant breeding.

mRNA

(messenger ribonucleic acid) The message made during transcription by reading the DNA sequence to build a particular protein. A single-stranded nucleic acid similar to DNA but having a ribose sugar rather than deoxyribose sugar and a uracil rather than thymine as one of the bases.

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.

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.

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.

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.

recombinant DNA

DNA that has been altered and is different from the original sequence.

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.

ribosome

A large molecule that catalyzes the translation of mRNA codons into an amino acid sequence.

RNA polymerase

An enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of RNA by copying the nucleotide sequence of the DNA.

termination sequence

The sequence of DNA which signals the transcription to stop.

termination sequence

The sequence of DNA which signals the transcription to stop.

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.

transcription

The process by which the nucleotide sequence of DNA is copied into a single-stranded molecule of RNA. The nucleotide sequence of the RNA created is complementary to the DNA sequence except all thymine molecules are replaced with uracil molecules.

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.