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Word Count: 949
For thousands of years we have tried to select plants for improved yield growth or food characteristics In the past this has been done by selective breeding selecting the plants with desired characteristics and crossing it with another plant with other desired characteristics As a result a new variety of the plant formed at a much faster rate that would occur in the wild The problem with this was when plants were crossed with ancestral varieties the embryos do not survive very well Another problem was that only plants in the same species are able to cross with each other So Scientists wanted to find a way around this The characteristics of plants are determined by its DNA which is a genetic code of its features Just like a blueprint it contains even tiny details like how even individual cells are constructed The DNA is then divided up into sets of genes which are instructions for individual functions The characteristics of each plant are determined by which genes it has received from its parent plants whether or not these genes are expressed and interactions between the genes and environmental factors With modern genetic modification genes can be selected isolated and inserted into another plant without the need of sexual compatibility The next generation of plant will then go on to contain the new genetic make up of the species and will be produced normally or modified further since it is also possible to switch off or remove unwanted genes or to modify the plant to improve the quality of it Some of the most important crops to be transformed so far include Apple asparagus barley broccoli carrot lettuce linseed maize melon papaya cauliflower pea celery pear pepper petunia cotton cucumber potato horseradish kiwi rape rice soybean sugar beat sunflower tobacco walnut and wheat By the year 2020 the worlds population has expected to reach approximately 8
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