Difference Between GMOs and Selective Breeding

What are GMOs?

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism that has undergone artificial genetic modifications, i.e. modifications that do not occur under natural conditions. The genotype of GMOs has been modified with the help of genetic engineering to highlight some of its characteristics and acquire new ones to reduce or eliminate some unwanted genetic characteristics. 

The first GMO was designed in 1973. 

The way to create GMOs is:

  • Reassemble DNA and create new combinations of genetic material by incorporating nucleic acid molecules formed in another organism;
  • Direct incorporation of hereditary genetic material by microinjection, macroinjection or microencapsulation;
  • Protoplast or hybrid cell fusion;

The most common modifications are:

  • Altering the activity of an organism’s native genes;
  • adding extra copies of an organism’s native genes to its body;
  • Add genes from another species to an organism.

The third group of changes is often criticized and denied because it is extremely rare under natural conditions (so-called horizontal gene transfer is possible, but observed with very low frequency). 

GMOs are most commonly used in: 

  • Modification of microorganisms to produce desired chemicals (e.g. insulin); 
  • Modification of crops to increase productivity, quality or resistance to diseases, pests, pesticides, etc. 

Examples of GMOs are wheat genetically modified with scorpions for drought resistance, strawberries genetically modified with bacteria to extend shelf life, rice daffodils genetically modified to produce beta-carotene, etc.

The most common plant GMOs in the world are soybeans, potatoes, corn, tomatoes, rice, etc.

What is selective breeding?

Selective breeding is the reproduction of plants or animals to selectively develop specific traits in offspring by selecting males and females with desired reproductive traits. 

Animal breeds and plant breeds are man-made, man-made variations of the same animal or plant. In selective breeding, breeders aim to retain only those traits of breeds and breeds that are of interest and can be inherited. 

Various forms of selective breeding have been used since the advent of human society . Unconscious selective breeding has been taking place since the Neolithic. Later, unintentional selective breeding has become intentional, and at the same time, many breeds and varieties have been created.

Selective breeding aims to enhance certain target characteristics of a species. For example, when selecting watermelon seeds for next season’s planting, farmers always prefer to harvest the largest and sweetest fruit seeds. 

In conscious selection, breeders set goals and develop a plan to achieve them. The plan includes several points:

  • Determine the characteristics to be obtained.
  • Individuals who clearly did not exhibit the desired characteristics were excluded.
  • Individuals with desired characteristics are selected and bred.

For effective selective breeding, the following conditions must be met:

  • Many are chosen;
  • Choose the individual best suited for breeding.

Through selective breeding, cows with high quality milk, dogs and horses of different breeds, a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, fibers and ornamental plants are obtained.

Difference Between GMOs and Selective Breeding

  1. definition 

GMO: A GMO is an organism that has been artificially genetically modified, i.e. modifications that do not occur under natural conditions. 

Selective Breeding: Selective breeding is the reproduction of plants or animals to selectively develop specific traits in offspring by selecting males and females with desired reproductive traits. 

  1. time limit 

GMOs: The results of genetic engineering can be detected quickly. 

Selective Breeding: Many generations are required to obtain the desired results of selective breeding. 

  1. organisms involved

GMOs : Genes from one species can be inserted into other unrelated genes. 

Selective Breeding: Individuals must be from the same species.

  1. genetic combination

GMO: In GMO, scientists create new combinations of genes 

Selective Breeding: In selective breeding, the genes combine themselves.

  1. history

GMOs: The first GMOs were designed in 1973. 

Selective Breeding: Various forms of selective breeding have been used since the dawn of human society.

Overview of GMOs and Selective Breeding: 

  • A GMO is an organism that has been artificially genetically modified, i.e. modifications that do not occur under natural conditions. 
  • Selective breeding is the reproduction of plants or animals to selectively develop specific traits in offspring by selecting males and females with desired reproductive traits. 
  • The results of genetic engineering were detectable in the first generation. Many generations are required to obtain the desired selective breeding results.   
  • Through genetic engineering, genes from one species can be inserted into other, unrelated genes. In selective breeding, individuals must be from the same species.
  • In GMOs, scientists create new combinations of genes. In selective breeding, the genes combine themselves.
  • The first GMO was produced in 1973. Various forms of selective breeding have been used since the advent of human society.

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