Uganda: Genetic modification in crops a natural process of survival

The following is an edited excerpt.

For organisms to adapt to changing environment, they at times undergo genetic modifications. Naturally, this occurs through gene mutation which involves alterations, insertions or deletions of genes. The resultant change can then be passed from one generation to the next in case it takes place in the gametes. Mutation is a random process that results in some traits, which may be lethal, less desirable or neutral.

Modern biotechnology that involves genetic engineering helps to bridge the gap between the unpredictable mutation and the predictable mutation. That is, from gene mutating randomly for its own survival to man mutating genes for his survival. This process brings about genetically modified organisms.

Modern Biotechnology shortens this process and makes even certain traits that would be difficult to transfer through cross breeding possible. For example, some banana varieties are sterile and sexually isolated from others and they can only be propagated vegetatively. Gene transfer through genetic engineering is, therefore, a good option of improving bananas.

Biotechnology is only an additional method; it is suitable in situations which outstretch conventional means.

Read the original article in its entirety here: Genetic modification in crops a natural process of survival

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