Naturally transgenic: the sweet potato contains pieces of DNA from another species, the bacterium Agrobacterium, with which biotechnologists create ad hoc genetically modified plants.He is about to end up run over, his mother saves him
Naturally transgenic: the sweet potato contains within it pieces of DNA from another species, a bacterium, and leaves us speechless.
A team of international researchers on pagine at Pnas speaks clearly: in sweet potato plants is found del DNA of bacterial origin, which Mother Nature has seen fit to transfer with a process such as the one that researchers use to make GMOs. That bacterium, that is, it would be used in laboratories precisely to create genetic modifications in plants.
The scholars analyzed the genome of nearly 300 cultivated varieties and some wild and found in all of them genetic sequences from a stranger, the Agrobacterium, with which biotechnologists create ad hoc genetically modified plants.
the dna that has been discovered is the so-called T-dna, a portion of the Agrobacterium plasmid, aimed at gene transfers. Furthermore, the bacterial genes transferred horizontally into the plant from a different species seem to be active, so by "earning them", the plant would have assumed positive characteristics, which would have contributed to the selection by the farmers who tamed it centuries ago.
"The natural presence of Agrobacterium T-DNA in the sweet potato and its stable inheritance during evolution is a beautiful example of the possibility of exchange of DNA between the barriers that separate the different species" says Lieve Gheysen, one of the authors of the study. “This shows that genetic modification also occurs in nature. However, compared to 'natural' GMOs, which are beyond our control, man-made GMOs give us the advantage of knowing exactly which characteristics are added to the plant ".
In short, what the researchers are trying to tell us now is that with GMO technology nothing has been invented, but by transferring foreign DNA into the genome of plants and animals. we simply borrow what already happens in nature. Too simple as a thesis, don't you think?
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