Principles and Processes in Biotechnology.pmd

Posted by lisa on November 18, 2022
Table of Contents


    In this chapter, you have learnt the classical Mendelian techniques of gene mapping and modern techniques of gene, transfer to genetically engineer the host organism and use it as a medicine factory or agricultural crop factory or even as a disease factory to induce immunity against diseases in humans or animals

    1. State the laws of inheritance enunciated by Mendel.

    • Mendel's laws of inheritance

    Mendel's laws of inheritance are summarized as follows:

    • Mendel’s first law of inheritance: The alleles for a trait separate or segregate during gamete formation and the resulting zygotes have equal numbers of the two alleles (AA, Aa, or aa). The frequency at which the different types appear in the population is determined by their relative frequencies in gametes formed from parents who possess different alleles for that trait.
    • Mendel’s second law of inheritance: When traits are independently inherited, they do not exhibit any blending or recombination with each other. For example, if one parent has red flowers and another white flowers then their offspring will not have pink flowers but rather will inherit either red flowers or white flowers depending on which allele was passed down from each parent respectively.

    2. Explain why variations are important for organism.

    • Explain why variations are important for organism.

    Variations in an organism are important to it as they help the organism to adapt to changing environment, so that it can survive and reproduce successfully. Variations are also the raw material of evolution as new variants arise through mutations or recombination of genes during reproduction by sexual reproduction, which then survive because they have some advantage over their parent species (due to genetic variation).

    3. Differentiate between genotype and phenotype.

    Genotype refers to the genetic make-up of an organism. Phenotype is the physical or observable expression of that genotype, or how a particular gene influences the appearance or behavior of an organism.

    One example is eye color—a child may have brown, blue or green eyes because of their parents' genetics and whether those genes were passed down to them through genes such as OCA2 (which determines brown eyes) or HERC2 (which determines blue/green eyes).

    4. What is sex-linked inheritance? Give example.

    In humans, sex-linked disorders are more common in males than females. For example, hemophilia is one such disorder. This condition is caused by a deficiency of clotting factor VIII (FVIII), which is normally found on chromosome X and affects only males who have inherited a defective gene from their mothers. Females express FVIII normally because they have two copies of this chromosome and any mutation will be masked by their other copy.

    5. What is the role of RNA in translation process?

    In the translation process, messenger RNA (mRNA) is used. It is a single-stranded molecule that carries information from DNA to ribosomes. mRNA contains three main regions: 5’-, 3’-, and central segments. The 5' end of mRNA contains a start codon, which is coded by ACGTG in DNA and AUG in RNA; it signals the beginning of protein synthesis at this point. The 3' tail contains stop codons; these are also coded into DNA as TAA/TAG or UAA/UAG, depending on whether they're tryptophan or phenylalanine residues respectively.

    In addition to carrying information from DNA to ribosomes during translation processing, another function of RNA includes regulating gene expression levels through transcription factors and messenger RNAs (mRNAs).

    6. What do you understand by induced mutation?

    Induced mutations are those that occur in an organism when it is exposed to some chemical or physical agent. The most common example of this type of mutation is radiation. There are two types of induced mutations:

    Induced point mutations: These are random changes in DNA sequence due to the addition, deletion or substitution of one base pair at a specific location in the genome. When this happens, it can cause a change in the amino acid sequence of proteins encoded by genes at that location; these may be non-functional (or have reduced function), have multiple functions and/or be toxic to the cell.

    Induced structural alterations: These are changes involving large regions of DNA (such as deletions) resulting from exposure to mutagens like ultraviolet radiation or chemicals such as ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS).

    7. Why are leguminous plants selected as model plants for genetic transformation studies?

    Leguminous plants have been selected as model plants for genetic transformation studies for several reasons. These include:

    • Legumes are economically important crops cultivated worldwide, including in tropical and sub-tropical regions where most wild relatives of legumes occur. In addition to their commercial value, they provide an important source of food and nutrition to many people in developing countries.
    • Most legumes are easy to grow under a wide range of environmental conditions, thus providing opportunities for research that can be applied around the world (Table 1). These plants also grow rapidly even when poor soil fertility is present; hence it is possible to harvest large numbers of generations within a short time period (less than two years).
    • Legumes have high nutritional value because they synthesise high levels of protein as well as valuable vitamins (elements), minerals and fibre compounds which are essential components in human diets throughout the world

    8. Why recombinant DNA technology is considered an advance tool in medical sciences?

    Transgenic animals can be used for the production of human and animal vaccines, medicines and genes.

    Genetic engineering is considered to be an advance tool in medical sciences due to its ability to treat various diseases by genetic modification techniques. Genetic engineering techniques are also used to create new vaccines and medicines through gene therapy which will help us fight against diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS etc., In addition to this it has been used successfully in creating transgenic animals such as pigs, goats etc., These transgenic animals have been grown up so that they can produce milk containing proteins like human insulin or clotting factors needed by humans suffering from hemophilia A & B respectively which helps them live longer than normal life span

    In this chapter, you learned about the classical and modern methods for transmitting genetic material from one organism to another in order to make vaccines or medicines.

    A gene is a unit of heredity that can be passed from one generation to another. It carries information for the production of proteins and other cellular components. Genes are located on a linear DNA molecule, in a very specific location which determines their function and behavior in the cell.

    A gene is composed of two parts:

    • The coding region where the sequence of nucleotide bases defines one (or more) amino acid(s) that are used by cells to make proteins; this part is called exon or protein coding region.
    • The noncoding region that lies between exons; this part is called introns or noncoding regions (NCR). The purpose of NCRs is unclear but they may play an important role in regulating gene function and expression at some point during development or evolution [1] before being removed during post transcriptional splicing [2].


    The book is an excellent guide for every biotechnology student, who wants to know about the basics of molecular biology and genetics. The book also provides a brief introduction to cell and molecular biology, which makes it easier for students with no previous knowledge in genetics or molecular biology.

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