What Is a Transgenic Plant?

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What Is a Transgenic Plant? - Provided by eHow
A transgenic plant is a plant that has been crossed with another plant and expresses qualities of a stronger, more drought-resistant plant. Discover how plants can be crossed naturally with instructions from a sustainable gardener in this free video... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi this is Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we are going to learn all about transgenic plants. What is a trangenic plant? There are so many words out there and it makes you just wonder is this botany or is this biology and the cloning and all those questions and the ethics but all of that aside a transgenic plant is just a plant that has been crossed with another plant that has different qualities and it makes it a stronger plant or it makes it more drought resistant or more disease resistant or more frost resistant and it has been done very successfully with many different plants and one of the examples is an LA hybrid plant and it is a cross with a long the form of an Easter Lily. They have crossed an Easter Lily with an Asiatic plant which an Asiatic is not fragrant. Those are the lilies that come up in the bright gorgeous colors but they don't have a fragrance. So they have crossed the two plants and they have come up with a transgenic plant and that means that the LA hybrid has some of the qualities of both of the plants so they are two, totally two different plants that have been crossed. So the key with transgenic plants is they have to be different varieties of different plants. You can't take the same plant, sometimes they will cross naturally, these always cross usually in a laboratory and they take the cells and they cross them. But they also can do it just by taking and what they do is take the pollen from one plant and then put it on the stiles of another plant and that produces seeds that has the two qualities of the other plant and it does happen naturally but in the case of the LA hybrid what has happened is they crossed the Asiatic and the Easter Lilies. They have come up with the lily that has more chromosomes than people so they have the ultimate number of chromosomes and what happens is it makes them very frost tolerant. They can live in Alaska very well whereas a lot of the trumpet lilies can't survive in Alaska but the Asiatic can but by crossing the two they have created a lily that is like the strongest lily in the world. It is stronger than an Asiatic. I have heard reports of -50 degrees and they can survive and the trumpet lily can't even survive -10 or -20 generally. So there is a lot of ethics involved too, a lot of grapes, they are crossing different plants with grapes and they are even realizing that with wheat they can cross it with a bacteria that is found on moths or part of a DNA from a moth and they actually put it into the plants and what happened is they come out and made a disease resistant plant that also is lot of times bug resistant so transgenic really isn't that serious it just means crossing two plants to make a better plant.