We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Transgenic Plants?

By Debra Durkee
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Transgenic plants are those that have been genetically engineered to contain gene sequences that do not naturally occur within their species. These gene sequences can come from plants of a different species, and are introduced in order to try to change some fundamental characteristics of the plant. Some plants that most commonly undergo this process are food crops, which can ideally be made more efficient and more productive by the introduction of new genetic material.

Some of the desirable traits that can be bred into these transgenic plants include resistances to disease and pests, higher yield, higher quality fruits, vegetables, or flowers, and an increased tolerance to weather conditions. Until the invention of inserting new genetic material artificially, plants were bred to accent these characteristics by simply taking the best examples from the same species and crossing them in the hopes of developing the most impressive offspring. This process can be made more efficient with the aid of science.

One of the first steps is determining which genes are to be replaced. Every section of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) governs a different part of the plant, whether it is responsible for how many petals are on a flower or how long the cells develop. Genetic experts must determine what gene controls each specific process and then also determine which portion of what plant it will be replaced with.

In their native environments, plants receive new genetic material through the process of pollination. This new information is inserted artificially in processes that can be done in several ways in transgenic plants. Boilistics, a term that combines the words biology and ballistics, is the process by which new DNA is injected directly into the plant cells through the cell walls. This is the favored process when implanting a monocot, or plant with seedlings with only one seed leaf.

When it comes to creating transgenic dicots, the agrobacterium method has met with the most success. In this process, a soil-based species of bacteria called Agrobacterium tumefaciens is used as a carrier. Injected with the new, desired strain of DNA, the bacteria are then introduced to the soil the plant is rooted it. This unique strain of bacteria then invades the plant and uses the plant's own cells to reproduce itself, introducing the new genetic strain.

Creating a successful group of transgenic plants depends on factors such as the ability of the plant to pass its new genetic sequence on to future generations. Once the gene has been successfully introduced and inherited, biologists must continue to study the new plant to make sure that there are no unforeseen complications that arise from the new genetic material. Transgenic plants are also known as genetically modified (GM) plants.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.