Genetic Engineering:

Changing the World as We Know It

 

Jacqueline Hall

GT Pre-AP Biology-Lowrey

March 2016

Table of Contents

 

Page 1-Title Page

 

Page 2-Table of Contents

 

Page 3-The pBLU Lab

 

Page 4-pBLU Lab Results

 

Page 5-Alternative Gene Insertion 

 

Page 6-Genetic Engineering Today

 

Page 7-The Future of Genetic Engineering

 

Plasmid Prepreation 

 

First, the plasmids were cut with restrictive enzymes. This allowed the DNA containing the resistant genes the oppretunity to join into the plasmids.

 

Next, DNA ligase joined the DNA sticky ends of both DNA piecees to create recombiant DNA. Included in that recobiant DNA was the ampicillin resistance gene.

 

These plasmids divided via bionary fissionn, creating cloes of themsleves; these clones contained the same resistance gene.

 

The bacteria cells were then transformed with the recombiant plasmids.

 

The cells then grew in the presence of an antibiotic. Doing so allowed for  analysis of which cells were properly transformed.

The pBLU Lab

 

The purpose of the pBLU Lab

 

was to demonstrate how DNA can be transformed by inserting  recombinant plasmids containing ampicillin resistant genes. In addition, a gene that causes cells to glow blue in color was also inserted into the same bacteria cells. This "blue" gene was used as a visual indicator  for which cells had been sucessfully tranformed. 

 The bacteria cells were cultured over the weekend of February the 12th to allow time for growth. On Monday the 15th, we analyzed four cultures and thier bacteria growth.  

Two of the cultures showed growth and expressed a white phenotype, one grew and expressed a blue phenotype, and another had no growth. A more detailed explanation is on the following page. The blue colonies contained thousands of clones of the same ampicillin resistant bacteria cells.

Results for LB + Plate

The bacteria in this plate were expected to grow and express the white phenotype, because there was no ampicillin in the plate to kill the bacteria. 

 

 

 

 


The bacteria in the plate grew and expressed the white phenotype as expected. This happened because of the absence of ampicillin, which would have killed the bacteria, and because ofthe absence of sugar, which would have caused the expression of the blue phenotype.

Results for LB/A/X+ Plate

The bacteria in this plate were expected to grow and express the blue phenotype; because while there was ampicillin in the plate, the bacteria contained the ampicillin resistance gene. 

 

 

 

 

 

The bacteria in the plate grew and expressed the blue phenotype as expected. This happened because of the absence of ampicillin, which would have killed the bacteria, and the presence of sugar (Xgal), which caused the expression of the blue phenotype.

Results for LB - Plate

The bacteria in this plate were expected to grow and express the white phenotype, because there was no ampicillin in the plate to kill the bacteria. 

 

 

 

 

 

 The bacteria in the plate grew and expressed the white phenotype as expected. This happened because of the absence of ampicillin, which would have killed the bacteria, and because of the absence of sugar, which would have caused the expression of the blue phenotype.

Results for LB/A/X- Plate

The bacteria in this plate were expected to not grow and die completley: because there was ampicillin in the plate, and the bacteria lacked the ampicillin resistance gene nesecary to survive. 

 

 

 



The bacteria in the plate died as expected.  This happened because of the prescence of ampicillin, which killed the bacteria, and the absence of sugar, which would have allowed for survival, because it would have provided the resistance gene.

 

These soil bacteria contain Ti plasmids; an extra piece of DNA that alters the chromosomes of plant cells.

 

 Once an agrobacterium has entered a plant, its Ti plasmids insert themselves into the plant cells' chromosomes. 

 

 Agrobacterium tumefaciens are natrual genetic engineers that work by invading plants through cuts in thier roots or stem. 

 

Alternative

Gene Insertion-

 

Agrobacterium  Tumefaciens

 

(read this diagram counterclockwise, beginning in the top left)

 After doing so, the Ti plasmids' enzymes instruct the plant's metobalism to make the materials that the agrobacterium needs to grow.

 

Such an advantage can and will allow endless possiblities for improvemtns to plant immunity, food condition and taste, and more.

 

 

 The agrobacterium then takes over the plant, making it its host. The bacteria continues to live off the plant until the plant dies, then returns to the soil.

 

By removing the metabolism altering genes of the Ti plasmids,& inserting enzymes that code for positive, desired genes, genetic engineers can alter grains like oats or rice, corn, etc.

 

Genetic Engineering Today- Genetically Modified Foods

In January 2016, my mother shared an article with me from the monthly edition of Clean Eating magazine that hit hard on a very hot topic-GMO Foods. While I was aware of the GMO problem our country and the world is creating, something about the article really stuck out to me. It made me take a second look at the labels on the foods I eat. 

Bowden's article in Clean Eating shares shocking facts-"spider genes (are being put) into goats so that thier milk will have spider proteins...cow genes (are being put into) pigs so that thier hides will be more cowlike..."and, what suprised me the most: "93% of corn grown in the United States is genetically modified...using chemicals like Roundup. 

Roundup is the most popular weed managment product used by industry ruling farmers and backyard gardners alike. It's main ingredient is glysphosate-whcih can significantly alter ezymes in parts of your body such as your liver, change human cell permeability, and feed cancer cell growth. It also can remain in the human body system for extended periods of time, increasing its ability to do damage. 

While chemicals and other alterations will ffix a pest or soil problem in a snap, it can also lead to major problems down the road for those who consume it. Even worse, the FDA has no saftey standards aganist GMO foods. This allows companys to do whatever they wish-and declare it safe. 

In conclusion, this article opened my eyes to shocking facts and stastics about the food and agriculture industry. GMO foods such as corn are sneaky, and it is exremtly important that we as a nation take action againist this growing problem.

 

 

Genetic Engineerinng in Agriculture has and will continue to focus on the battle over GMO foods, but there is also a more positive sector of genetic engineering in food: and that is the control of plant diseases.

 

While gentically motofied plants and foods have numerous downsides, they also are allowing scientists to learn more about plant DNA and cell structure. This gives them a chance to conitnue to develop positive methods to eliminate things that kill plants, as well as negative things passed to humans through the plants they eat.

 

 This is very interesting to me, and I am excited to see how scientsits and researchers will continue to learn from and use plants to develop ways to solve health and food delimas that we face in our daily lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Future of Genetic Enigineering

 

Genetic Engineering in Medicine will lead to cures for diseases, solutions for infertile women, and new methods of organ transplants.

 

Through research and development of a technique called Xenotransplation, a group of scientists hope to one day be able to use pig organs to save the lives of organ transplant patients. While this is in its earliest stages, it is moving along at rapid speed.

 

To me, this sounds very far fetch, and in all honesty, not very logical.

 

However, I am very interested in seeing where research will lead these scientists.

 

If researchers can develop a new and improved techqniue for organ transplant, hundreds of lives could be saved. Our society would compeltley change.