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Genetic Engineering in Indian Agriculture

Publisher: Centre for Sustainable Agriculture

Firstly, some basic information (in case you did not know) – all living organisms are made up of cells. Inside the cell is a nucleus which contains nearly all the genetic material of an organism. This genetic material is ‘packaged’ into organised structures called Chromosomes. DNA (De-oxyribo Nucleic Acid), which has a double helix geometric structure lies in these chromosomes. Four chemical substances form the bases for the DNA – and genes are supposed to be made of definite sequences of these bases [guanine (G), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and adenine (A)] on the DNA, which in turn are supposed to code for production of particular proteins. A plant starts its life as a single cell, an egg that has been fertilised by sperm. This first cell (Zygote) divides many times to form the tissues and organs characteristic of the species. As the development proceeds, cells differentiate themselves. For example, cells in the leaves become distinct from the cells in the root. Most of these differences can be attributed to changes in the kinds and amounts of proteins made in the cells, because many of the structures in cells are made of proteins and most of the processes that occur in cells are influenced by enzymes which are also proteins. Though several thousand different proteins are present in the cell, they vary in quantity; also, some proteins are found in all kinds of cells at all times in development whereas other proteins are in a particular tissue (or) at a specific time. Some proteins are made in response to environmental changes such as increase or decrease in temperature and this may or may not be present during the entire life of a particular plant. The most common way for a cell to control how much and which kinds of proteins are present is by controlling which genes are functioning.

Author(s): G V Ramanjaneyulu, Kavitha Kuruganti | Views(338) | Download (118)

  
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