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Genetically Modified Crops as Medicine

BY: Nidhi Uppangala | Category: Agriculture | Submitted: 2010-06-30 16:19:42
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Article Summary: "Genetically modified plants or transgenic plants contain a gene or genes from another species. T Transgenic plants are produced in such a way that they produce antibodies, enzymes, and this also helps in plant research..."

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Genetically modified plants or transgenic plants contain a gene or genes from another species. These genes are transferred into the transgenic plants using vectors. As transgenic plants genome is modified by adding one or more genes from different species they are called as genetically modified plant. Transgenic plants are produced in such a way that they produce antibodies, enzymes, and this also helps in plant research. Pesticide resistant, viral resistant transgenic plants are also produced using biotechnology technique such as genetic engineering.

Gene or genes from different species are transferred into the plant using vectors such as Agrobacterium species of bacteria method. Gene of interest is inserted into Agrobacterium Ti plasmid and is infected into the desired plant. Gene of interest is transferred into plant genome; hence plant produces desired protein or vaccine. Other than this direct gene transfer method are also used to transfer gene of interest into the desired plant to produce transgenic plants. Direct gene transfer methods such as microinjection or particle gun method can be used.

Transgenic Plants and Immune Therapy:

1. Antigens or antibodies against a particular virulent microorganism can be produced in plants by introducing antigen or antibody producing genes into the plant. Then these plants will produce antibody or antigen in large quantity. These antigen or antibody are purified and can be given intravenously as vaccine against that particular virulent microorganism, or edible parts of the transgenic plant like fruits or root can be eaten as such to get immunity against that particular disease or virulent form of microorganism.

2. Vaccine against acute watery diarrhea caused by E. coli and also Vibrio cholerea is produced in genetically modified tobacco plants. Transgenic tobacco is produced by infecting the plant with recombinant virus with desired antigen along with coat protein. This induces the immunogenicity in plant and produces antibody against these virus or antigen.

Transgenic Plant and Autoimmune Disease:

1. Autoimmune disease like insulin can be cured by eating transgenic potato tuber. This transgenic potato produces insulin; hence diabetic patient can eat this transgenic potato instead of taking insulin injections to treat diabetes Miletus disease.

2. Glutamic acid decarboxylase is produced in transgenic tobacco and this is also used to treat autoimmune disease.

Transgenic Plant and Hepatitis B Infection:

1. Hepatitis B is a very dangerous disease caused by a virus that attacks the organ liver and can cause lifelong infection, induces liver damage, liver cancer, liver failure and finally death.
2. Transgenic banana are produced with the capacity to produce Hepatitis B vaccination and hence by eating this transgenic banana one can get immunity against this dangerous virus known as Hepatitis B.

Transgenic Plant and Alzheimer's disease:

1. Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease and it causes dementia in patients.
2. Transgenic tomato derived beta amyloid can be used as vaccine against Alzheimer's disease.


Vaccines produced in genetically modified plants were effective in providing immunity against some dangerous infections and also cured some autoimmune diseases and also neurodegenerative diseases. This technology will be a boon to developing and underdeveloped countries as there is no need for low temperature storage of these vaccines and are can be grown locally. Therefore this is very economical way of getting immunity against some deadly diseases.

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Comments on this article: (1 comments so far)

Comment By Comment
Georgy Romanov
2010-11-22 05:57:06 98
Can I get some refernces? Thank you

Leave a Comment   |   Article Views: 13571

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