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    How would you try to alter by genetic engineering the following.

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    You are a geneticist working for a firm that specializes in plant biotechnology. Explain what specific parts (fruit, seeds, stems, roots, etc.) of the following plants you would try to alter by genetic engineering, what changes you would try to make, and why, on a) corn, b) tomatoes, c) wheat, and d) avocados.

    Only a few hundred of the hundreds of thousands of species in the plant kingdom have been domesticated for human use. One example is the almond. The domestic almond is nutritious and harmless, but its wild precursor can cause cyanide poisoning. The oak makes potentially nutritious seeds (acorns) that contain very bitter-tasting tannins. If we could breed the tannin out of acorns, they might become a delicacy. Why do you suppose we have failed to domesticate oaks?

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    Solution Preview

    The first question gives you many opportunities for creativity in your answers. For the first step, determine what some problems are with each of the food crops. Also, list some desirable qualities that could be improved for that crop. Then determine possible solutions for those problems and what changes you would make. You can add to this with as many creative solutions as you can think of.

    Corn - requires a lot of water, storms and high winds can damage the stalks, plump and juicy kernals are desirable, nutritional content could be improved (more protein for example)

    You could remedy the first 2 problems of water requirement and wind damage by breeding corn with shorter stalks. If the plant has a shorter stalk then it will require less water to maintain all that green stem and leaves. A plant with a shorter stalk will also be less likely to blow down and break. You ...

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