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Genetic Diversity

  1. May 8, 2005 #1
    Which is a true statement about genetic diversity?

    a. Genetic resistance to pests and diseases can be increased by crossing a plant with ancestral varieties
    b. Genetic engineering technology is used to increase genetic diversity by creating new species with synthetic genes

    I want to say B, but I am uncertain because of the "synthetic" part. For A, wouldn't genetic resistance decrease if ancestral varieties are involved? I mean, aren't the pests and bacteria already familiar with the ancestor plants?

  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2005 #2


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    It is hard to say. Is there more context to the question?

    The ancestral plants might have resistance to some pest because the pest has adapted to non-resistant plant or to a new resistance. Therefore the resistance might be lost. As far as genetic diversity, it is probably all the same genes in the gene pool but there will be different version of these genes. Therefore new variety will be created.

    For the GMO, it is a gene from another organism that is introduce into the organism of choice. The population of plant will be in general a clone of the first isolated plant carrying the desired gene. Also, these plants tend to be infertile but it has been proven otherwise in some cases. So, there will be little genetic diversity within a group.

    I would go for A
  4. May 10, 2005 #3
    It's A. We don't create synthetic genes. Humans may use artificial selection to choose desirable genes to make better combinations of animals and plants, sometimes creating whole new species, but these are definitely not synthetic genes.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2005
  5. May 11, 2005 #4


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    We create synthetic genes. Any genes that would be found in nature and is create in the lab. Fusing genes creates a synthetic gene.

    We have plasmid that are entirely synthethic.
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