Transgenic plants are genetically engineered varieties containing one or more artificially inserted genes. The aim of producing transgenic plants is to

a) improve crop yields

b) increase variety

c) give cultivated plants more protection against their pests, parasites and harsh weather conditions.

Most of the techniques used to produce transgenic plants only demonstrate that genes could be transferred in to plants. Transgenic plants resistant to herbicides, insects, viruses and a variety of other stresses have already been produced. Besides this, transgenic plants suitable for food processing have also been produced such as bruise resistance, delayed ripening in tomato. Initially, the techniques used only helped in the production of transgenic plants in dicotyledons but no it has been possible to produce transgenic plants in monocotyledons like wheat, maize, rice and oats.

The safety of these transgenic plants for human consumption should be thoroughly evaluated before they are commercially used. The safety of growing and using these transgenic plants is of concern for the public at large.

Table A list of higher plants where transgenic plants have been produced using different methods

Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) Picea glauca (white spruce)
N. plumbaginifolia (wild tobacco) Avena sativa (oats)

Petunia hybrida (petunia) Zea mays (corn)
Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato) Triticum aestivum (wheat)
Solanum tuberosum (potato) Oryza sativa (rice)
Solanum melongena (eggplant) Secale cereale (rye)
Arabidopsis thaliana Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Lactuca sativa (lettuce) Asparagus sp. (asparagus)
Apium graveolens (celery) Vitis vinifera (grape)
Helianthus annuus (sunflower) Carica papaya (papaya)
Linum usitatissimum (flax) Actinidia sp. (Kiwi)
Brassica napus (oilseed rape; canola) Fragaria sp. (strawberry)
Brassica oleracea (cauliflower) Ipomoea purpurea (morning glory)
Brassica rapa (syn. B. campestris) Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato)

Gossypium hirsutum (cotton)

Digitalis purpurea (foxglove)

Beta vulgaris (sugarbeet) Glycorrhiza glabra (licorice)
Glycine max (soybean) Armoracia sp. (horse radish)
Pisum sativum (pea) Daucus carota (carrot)
Chrysanthemum sp. (chrysanthemum) Cichorium intybus (chicory)
Rosa sp. (rose) Cucumis melo (muskmelon)
Populus sp. (poplar) Cucumis sativus (cucumber)
Malus sylvestris (apple) Lotus corniculatum (lotus)
Pyrus communis (pear) Medicago sativa (alfalfa)
Azadirachta indica (neem)

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