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Authors: Llewellyn, D.J.
Lyon, B.
Cousins, Y.
Huppatz, J.
Dennis, E.S.
Peacock, W.J.
Keywords: Genetic engineering
Plant breeding
Weed control
Cereal crops
Issue Date: 17-Aug-1988
Abstract: Genetic engineering involves the agronomic improvement of crop plants through the introduction of new genetic information (genes) originating from other organisms. Unlike traditional plant breeding, this is not restricted to genetic material from plants that can be sexually crossed with the crop plant, be they other varieties or wild relatives, but extends to all living organisms, from the simplest virus to the most complex animal. The universal code for all genetic information means that a plant can decode these foreign genes to produce a new product in its cells. Although the functional segment of the foreign genes might be recognised, the gene signals that control the switching on and off of genes ten_d to be unique to different types of organisms. To make a bacterial gene, say, function in a plant it is necessary to remove its own bacterial gene controls and replace them with appropriate gene controls isolated from a plant gene. Ev~ genes from other plants may require some modification of the gene controls if the donor and recipient plants are very distantly related. This construction of new gene combinations in a test tube represents the first stage in genetic engineering; the second stage is to get these essentially synthetic genes inro the crop plant. This latter process, called genetic transformation, is often difficult for crop plants, especially cereal crops, but has now been demonstrated for a wide variety of crop and pasture species such as rice, maize, luceme, white clover, tomatoes, potatoes, brassicas, soybean and cotton.
Appears in Collections:1988 Australian Cotton Conference

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