One of the most important tasks of genetic engineering is the breeding of transgenic animals and plants with increased productivity and higher product quality, disease resistance, as well as the creation of so-called bioreactor organisms – producers of valuable biologically active substances. Of particular interest is the gene encoding growth hormone. Impressive results were obtained on European salmon. Salmon specimens with a built-in growth hormone gene reach marketable weight 2 times faster than regular ones.
At present, transgenic forms of tomato (more than 260), soybean (more than 200), cotton (more than 150), pumpkin plants (more than 80), as well as wheat, sunflower, apple, strawberry, etc. have already been obtained. Many transgenic plants contain resistance genes to insect pests, toxic substances, etc. For example, potato varieties resistant to the Colorado potato beetle (leaves produce protein toxic to beetles), plants that are able to protect themselves from heavy metals, oil products and even cleanse soil and groundwater from these substances have been bred.
Recently, a project is being developed for introducing bacteria genes into crops that can absorb atmospheric nitrogen. This would eliminate the need to apply nitrogen fertilizers to the soil.
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