Genetic Modification Experiment On Barley Seedlings Biology Essay

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To help reinforce the knowledge and practical application of genetic modification, an experiment was implemented as per set guidelines in order to witness the effects of different genes on the growth of barley seedlings. The results of this experiment were that an error may have been conducted in this test and the results are inconclusive.

Genetic modification alters the genetic makeup of an organism using techniques that introduce inheritable material prepared outside the organism either directly into the host or into a cell that is then merged with the host. [1] It is often described as the direct genetic manipulation of an organism which is likely not to have made the alteration itself under normal circumstances.

There are several ways in which genetic modification is performed, the first of which being gene isolation. In this process, a selected gene currently not present in the organism is isolated and implanted into the organism chosen. This is usually related to genes which will assist the organism such as the implantation of herbicide resistance or insect protection into farm plants. [2] Another way to alter the genes of an organism is with the implementation of gene targeting. This is the most common form of genetic alteration, and is achieved by inserting new genetic material into the selected genome. Several other, but less common approaches to genetic modification includes Constructs, Transformation, Selection, and Regeneration.

Genetic modification has many possible applications including use in the fields of medicine, scientific research, and agriculture, as well as industrial applications such as cleaning (bacteria) and the production of GM food.

The history of genetic modification dates back thousands of years to when this field was limited to artificial selection, which is the selection of more desirable looking foods to use in the next generation. A famous example is that of the common carrot, which used to be a small predominantly white vegetable before orange offspring's were selected to reproduce to honour William of Orange, the kind at the time in the Netherlands. [4]

Most advances in genetic modification have occurred in the last 40 years (current year 2011). In 1972 Paul Berg announced the creation of the first recombinant DNA molecules by combined DNA from monkey virus SV40 with the lambda virus. [5] In 1973 Herbert Boyer and synthesized a transgenic organism using the insertion of antibiotic resistance genes into an E. coli bacterium.[6] Rudolf Jaenisch later created transgenic rodents by introducing foreign DNA into their embryos. Genentech was later established, the first genetic modification company, and was founded by Herbert Boyer and Robert Swanson. Genentech announced the production engineered human insulin in 1978, an amazing accomplishment as insulin is used to regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism in the body. [7] The insulin produced by bacteria, branded humulin, has been released and patented under the health and drug administration. [8]

In 2010, scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute announced that the first synthetic genome for humans had been created, which was injected into a cell containing no DNA. The resulting bacterium, named Synthia, is the world's first synthetic life form.

www.attra.org

Specialty (Chlorophyll/Lethal genes)

Safety Hazard

Precaution(s)

Safety Apparatus Used

Airborne spores originating from the soil/potting mix provided may have adverse effects on health, and diseases/conditions which may be contracted from airborne spores include Butolism, a disease which causes paralysis and degrades muscles.

Gloves and a dust mask were worn while planting the seeds and while soil was being moved/used.

Excessive breathing over the specimens was avoided during watering in order to avoid spore transfer.

Standard Latex Gloves

Dust Mask

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

Materials (Control):

Control barley seeds x 15

Watering bottle (with nozzle)

Plastic 'Take-out' container x 3

Brunning's Potting Mix

Rain gauge

White Table

Thermometer

Ruler

Method:

Approximately 2cm (depth) of Brunning's Potting Mix was placed into the plastic container.

The seeds were carefully placed into the container and a space of 2cm in every direction was left for each seed in order to allow sprouting. (Appendix 2)

Approximately 1cm of soil was spread over the top of the seeds, covering them.

The containers were placed onto a white table.

Each container received 120ml of water, spread evenly across the container with a watering can nozzle (60ml at 7am and 4:30pm where possible, or just 120ml at 4:30pm)

The temperature was recorded using a stationary alcohol thermometer twice daily at 7am and 4 - 4:30pm. (Appendix 3)

Steps five and six were repeated daily and the results were recorded.

Materials (Lethal Genes):

Lethal Gene seeds x 15

Watering bottle (with nozzle)

Plastic 'Take-out' container x 3

Brunning's Potting Mix

Rain gauge

White Table

Thermometer

Ruler

Method:

Approximately 2cm (depth) of Brunning's Potting Mix was placed into the plastic container.

The seeds were carefully placed into the container and a space of 2cm in every direction was left for each seed in order to allow sprouting. (Appendix 2)

Approximately 1cm of soil was spread over the top of the seeds, covering them.

The containers were placed onto a white table.

Each container received 120ml of water, spread evenly across the container with a watering can nozzle (60ml at 7am and 4:30pm where possible, or just 120ml at 4:30pm)

The temperature was recorded using a stationary alcohol thermometer twice daily at 7am and 4 - 4:30pm. (Appendix 3)

Steps five and six were repeated daily and the results were recorded.

Materials (Chlorophyll Deficient):

Chlorophyll Deficient seeds x 15

Watering bottle (with nozzle)

Plastic 'Take-out' container x 3

Brunning's Potting Mix

Rain gauge

White Table

Thermometer

Ruler

Method:

Approximately 2cm (depth) of Brunning's Potting Mix was placed into the plastic container.

The seeds were carefully placed into the container and a space of 2cm in every direction was left for each seed in order to allow sprouting. (Appendix 2)

Approximately 1cm of soil was spread over the top of the seeds, covering them.

The containers were placed onto a white table (to reflect.

Each container received 120ml of water, spread evenly across the container with a watering can nozzle (60ml at 7am and 4:30pm where possible, or just 120ml at 4:30pm)

The temperature was recorded using a stationary alcohol thermometer twice daily at 7am and 4 - 4:30pm. (Appendix 3)

Steps five and six were repeated daily and the results were recorded.

Changes made to original experiment model (as per work log):

Due to the rain which has been experienced during the germination period, more soil had to be added to the top of the container as it was washed off the top. This caused a delay of approximately 4 days between the sprouting times of the indoor and outdoor specimens. (indoor sprouted first)

On Tuesday the 29th of March, 2011, the specimens had to be taken undercover due to the high amounts of rain experienced. Before they were taken undercover, a rainfall of 11ml had been recorded with the rain gauge, and the plants were not watered until the afternoon of Thursday the 31st march, when the watering was deemed suitable. (Appendix 4)

A replanting had to be done so that the plants could expand their roots as they were constricted.

[1] Council of the European Union (12 March 2001). Directive on the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) Official Journal of the European Communities. p. page 17.

[2] James, Clive (2008). "Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops: 2008". ISSA Brief No. 39

[3] Application of Some Genetically Engineered Bacteria". (2010) http://www.molecular-plant-biotechnology.info/use-of-microbes-in-industry-and-agriculture/applications-of-genetically-engineered-bacteria.htm

[4] World Carrot Museum (2011) "History of the carrot: development during the renaissance and beyond." http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/history3.html

[5] Jackson, DA; Symons, RH; Berg, P (October 1, 1972). "Biochemical Method for Inserting New Genetic Information into DNA of Simian Virus 40: Circular SV40 DNA Molecules Containing Lambda Phage."

[6] Arnold, Paul (2009). "History of Genetics: Genetic Engineering Timeline" http://www.brighthub.com/science/genetics/articles/21983.aspx

[7] Jaenisch, R. and Mintz, B. (1974). "Simian virus 40 DNA sequences in DNA of healthy adult mice derived from preimplantation blastocysts injected with viral DNA."

[8] US Supreme Court Cases from Justia & Oyez (June 16, 1980). "Diamond V Chakrabarty"

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