The Methods of Creating Genetically Modified Organisms


A genetically modified organism is also known as GMO in short. In an organism whose genome is altered by using genetic engineering, due to this the DNA has more than one gene, which is not normal. This method is commonly used in foods such as corn and soya beans.

This method was first founded by Stanley Cohen and Herbert Boyer in the year 1972. They made it possible to cut strands of DNA from one organism and transfer it to another.

It is a cut and splice method; it’s like tying two different ropes to make a single long rope.

Gene transfer is related to recent biotechnology. It is the process of transferring genes from one organism o another using different methods. These are a few of the methods: microprojectile bombardment, electroporation, and microinjection.


The process of modifying an organism through gene transfer is usually known as genetic engineering. This process is used by scientists to either enhance or modify the organism’s natural traits.

In any organism such as plants, animals, or humans, these are the main three steps that are followed in genetic engineering:

  1. Separation of a DNA fragment from the donor.
  2. This separated fragment of DNA is inserted into the vector genome of the receiving host. (Vector genome is a DNA molecule that is responsible for carrying foreign genetic material into the cells of its organism).
  3. Then the recombinant vector grows inside an appropriate host. Thus either leading to the host’s mutation or failure of the modification.

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The method mentioned above is the most basic method for genetic engineering, others are more accurate and complicated methods, which differentiate between each organism such as plants and animals.

Plants: Micro projectile bombardment method. This method was invented by john Stanford in 1984. This method is known to be the most accurate method for gene transfer leading to the creation of transgenic plants. This method can also be used in mammal cells and microorganisms thus making it flexible. One of the main reasons that this method is widely used in plants is because it prevents agro-bacterium from forming. Agro-bacterium is a genus that uses horizontal gene transfer to form tumors in these genetically modified plants.

Steps for this method:

  1. First the protoplasts are isolated. Protoplasts are bacterial cells whose cell wall is removed.
  2. Then using a special gun known as a particle gun the DNA -coated particles are injected into these protoplasts. 
  3. These transformed protoplasts to regenerate into plantlets. Plantlets are a young version of plants.
  4. Acclimatization of regenerated plantlets. These are usually kept in greenhouses to regenerate.

Environment plays a great role in this process. As after the whole process is done the temperature and humidity. Etc. affect the receptiveness of the targeted tissue thus also affecting the physiology.

Animals: Microinjection method. There is no one particular inventor for this method, as there was a whole team involved in making this method. This is also one of the most accurate gene transfer methods, especially in mammals. This is a process in which Foreign DNA is transferred into live organisms in order to create the most accurate transgenic organism. This method involves injecting DNA into a different organism using a needle.

  1. One of the ends of a micropipette is heated to make it a bit liquefied.
  2. It is then quickly stretched on the heated end, forming a very thin and fine tip.
  3. The tip is about 0.3-0.5 mm resembling a typical injection needle.
  4. Nor cell and the host cell are then placed under an extremely powerful microscope, the needle is gently poked into the cell and its contents are sucked in
  5. The needle is then inserted through the host cell’s membrane and all the contents of the injection are emptied into the cytoplasm of the host cell.
  6. And the needle is carefully taken out.

Positive or negative, advantages and disadvantages:

Example 1: Micro projectile bombardment.


  1. This method can be used for a wide range of species. 
  2. Plant species that are open to agro-bacterium when mutated can be treated with this
  3. method.
  4. A single plant can have multiple genes by using this method.
  5. DNA/RNA large fragments of nucleic acids can be coated on particles.


  1. The regeneration capacity for the bombarded tissue is very limited.
  2. Sometimes cellular tissue can be damaged if the process is not properly.
  3. The equipment required to carry out this whole process is very expensive.
  4. Might have chances of failure in large-scale productions.

There are instances where this method has shown great success in labs but failed to in the outside world in nature. One of the experiments included making a plant that has very high nutritional values, the experiment seemed to be a success in the lab, so they tested outside on real farms. They sowed these seeds on a large scale. After a few weeks, the saplings started to grow, but soon they died out due to the climate conditions causing huge economical damage to the company that sponsored this research. This not only affected the company(economically) but also affected the land it was planted on. They put many chemicals and pesticides to support the growth of this plant, thus leading to damage to fertile land and it might take years for the land to recover. But if this experiment was a success the world hunger problem would be reduced further. As we already know the grain known as gold rice is very high in nutrition these scientists were trying to make something that is much cheaper and much better.

Example 2: Microinjection


  1. The amount of DNA delivered per cell is not limited thus increasing the chance of success in the mutation.
  2. The process is highly precise again increasing the chance of success.
  3. Even the smallest structures that contain only a few cells can be injected and it has high regeneration latent.


  1. Sometimes the survival of the embryo can be affected by careless use of the injection.
  2. Only one cell can be injected at once.

This technology is also considered to be IVF. IVF is a medical procedure where an egg is fertilized anywhere but outside a body. This technology is really helpful to those with no children or who cannot have any. But if this is commercialized it may lead to many ethical, political, and religious problems. For example, the catholic church does not approve of this method as they feel that the act of conceiving a child outside the human body. Even some Muslim countries banned it as they consider it immoral. In many places, kids who are born using this procedure are called illegitimate children. But in India, there have not been any issues with this method, there many sperm banks throughout India.


GMOs are more useful than then harmful. As they are the key to a more sustainable, safe, and healthy future. They are also used to wipe out world problems. For example, the invention of gold rice has filled the stomachs of many hungry people and given them proper nutrition.

They are also considered to be boons for those who cannot conceive any children. They are the ones that can edit the small imperfections in any organism to make the perfect being and make the world a better place. But there are also a few flaws, as we see the tip of the iceberg but there is a whole mountain of information underneath it. We will discover it over time and we will be more successful further in the future.


  1. Miuzeka, Killode. “Gene gun.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Sept. 2017,
  2. Yoshino, H, et al. “Naked plasmid DNA transfer to the porcine liver using rapid injection with large volume.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 27 July 2006,
  3. Transgenic Animals,
  4. “Techniques of Genetic Engineering.” Microinjection – Genetic Engineering Technique,
  5. “Microinjection.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 July 2017,
  6. “Advantages/Disadvantages.”,
  7. Rosas, Jim. “Transgenic Animals: Tampering with Nature?” The Viewspaper, View,

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The Methods of Creating Genetically Modified Organisms. (2022, Aug 07). Retrieved from

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