What is golden rice?
Genetic engineering had been used to modify a specific variety of rice to contain the precursor of vitamin A. The golden rice is for people in areas where there are shortage of dietary vitamin A. Deaths and blindness of children have been seen often in these areas where there is a significant deficiency of vitamin A in food sources. The precursor for vitamin A, beta-carotene, is produced only in the leaves of this variety of rice and not in the seed. Therefore, scientists have used recombinant DNA technology to make the plants to contain the gene for beta-carotene also in the seeds.
What is Recombinant DNA technology?
Recombinant DNA technology genetically combines two or more distinct genes into one sequence. Multiple DNA fragments can be put together using this method to produce a better working organism or medicine. Foreign genetic materials to be inserted into a particular sequence of genes can be from any species.
Why is it important?
Golden rice is actually not in use at the moment since regulatory and intellectual property issues have not been solved. However, other applications of recombinant DNA technology include a variety of fields, including pharmacy, medicine, research, and food. Recombinant DNA technology can produce stronger plants, improve food nutrition, yield more crops, and generate new medicines.
Students will be able to identify recombinant DNA technology
Below are links to download:
Golden Rice Project Info sheet : https://static.wixstatic.com/ugd/6b539f_12b2d316b0424258b5990ac522ca807b.pdf
Golden Rice Project Activity sheet