Gene Manipulation in Plants OpenCourseWare: A Free Undergraduate Course on Gene Manipulation by The Open University

Published Feb 17, 2009

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OpenCourseWare 'Gene Manipulation in Plants' considers the controversy surrounding gene manipulation. The course begins with an explanation of genes and their function, followed by examples of gene manipulation. The course, offered by Open University, generally is part of an undergraduate biology or biochemistry program.

Gene Manipulation in Plants: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Gene Manipulation in Plants: Course Specifics

Genetic manipulation has been on the forefront of emerging scientific research and development for more than a decade now, yet many of the same dilemmas surrounding it remain. Ethical debates continue to besiege the field, and many believe that these issues have complicated its continued progress.

The Open University course explores both ethical issues and the gene manipulation process, with a particular focus on plant gene manipulation. Students first embark on a detailed study of genetically modified (GM) crops. They then take a closer look at crown gall disease, an infection that affects broad-leaved trees.

Next, students review the process of genetically modifying plants, paying particular attention to the use of infection to create transgenic (altering a plant's genome by transferring another species genes) plants. Additionally, the course focuses on traits that can be introduced into genetically modified plants, including insect resistance and herbicide intolerance.

Finally, golden rice, a genetically modified food that contains a vitamin A precursor is examined. The course looks at how golden rice was developed and if it really alleviates Vitamin A deficiency. The course ends with a summary of where research into golden rice stands now.

'Gene Manipulation in Plants' is a 10-hour course for biology or biochemistry students that includes a list of references, lecture notes, diagrams or figures, tables and questions with answers. This free OpenCourseWare can be viewed by, visiting plant gene manipulation course page.

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