We have seen how plants can be genetically modified by the addition of genes from another organism. Two methods are commonly used to introduce foreign genes into plants. The first method uses a natural genetic engineer in plants, the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. For this, the foreign gene is first inserted into Agrobacterium's Ti plasmid. Then the Agrobacterium naturally transfers the recombinant plasmid into the plant cells when the two are mixed. Another technique, called biolistics, consists of bombarding plants with microscopic, DNA-coated metal particles. Currently, genetically modified plants are commercially produced and marketed in the United States. Ecological, food safety, and labeling concerns surround the growing and selling of genetically modified plants.
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