Transgenic plants Bt-toxin is an insecticide naturally produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis . This toxin is toxic only to insects because it must bind to receptors in their gut to function. Several different kinds of crop plants have been genetically engineered to produce this toxin. Agricultural plants have been developed that are resistant to the effects of the herbicide Roundup TM . This herbicide kills non-resistant plants and is biodegradable. Presently, there are approximately 50 types of genetically engineered plants that resist insects, viruses, and herbicides. Rice has been engineered to produce B-carotene and increased levels of iron. A weed called mouse-eared cress has been designed to produce a biodegradable plastic called polyhydroxubutrate (PHB). Possibilities for the Future In the future, biotechnology may be able to improve crop yields and produce plants that contain all of the amino acids required for human consumption.
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2012 for the course BSC BSC1005 taught by Professor Orlando,rebecca during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.