State PCS

Edit Template
Edit Template

Genome Editing

Genome Editing

The Government has given the green light for genome-edited plants without the usual hassle of going through the complex GMO regulations at the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC). Now, Site Directed Nuclease (SDN) 1 and 2 genomes are exempt from the rules 7-11 of the Environment Protection Act. This means they can skip the lengthy approval process for genetically modified (GM) crops through the GEAC. Instead, the Institutional BioSafety Committee (IBSC) under the Environment Protection Act will be responsible for making sure that the genome-edited crop doesn’t have any foreign DNA.

What is Genome Editing?

  • Genome editing (also called gene editing) is a group of technologies that give scientists the ability to change an organism’s DNA.
  • These technologies allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome.
  • Advanced research has allowed scientists to develop the highly effective Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR) -associated proteins based systems. This system allows for targeted intervention at the genome sequence.
  • This tool has opened up various possibilities in plant breeding. Using this tool, agricultural scientists can now edit the genome to insert specific traits in the gene sequence.
  • Depending on the nature of the edit that is carried out, the process is divided into three categories:
    • SDN 1: Site Directed Nuclease (SDN) 1 introduces changes in the host genome’s DNA through small insertions/deletions without introduction of foreign genetic material.
    • SDN 2: In SDN 2, the edit involves using a small DNA template to generate specific changes. Both these processes do not involve alien genetic material and the end result is indistinguishable from conventionally bred crop varieties.
    • SDN 3: The SDN3 process involves larger DNA elements or full length genes of foreign origin which makes it similar to Genetically modified organisms (GMO) development.

How is Gene Editing different from GMO development?

Changing Genetic Makeup:

  • Genetic modification, like in GMOs, involves tweaking the genetic material of a plant by adding foreign genes.
  • Genome editing, on the other hand, doesn’t bring in outside genes; it’s more like fine-tuning the existing genetic material.

Agricultural Inspiration:

  • In farming, soil bacteria is a goldmine for genes. These genes, extracted from bacteria, are inserted into crops using genetic engineering.
  • For instance, in cotton, we borrow genes (cry1Ac and cry2Ab) from Bacillus Thuringiensis (BT) bacteria. This helps cotton produce toxins that naturally fend off pests like the pink bollworm.

Natural Pest Control:

  • BT Cotton, thanks to these added genes, lets farmers combat pink bollworm without chemicals. The cotton plant itself becomes a defender.

Battling Challenges:

  • Both genetic engineering and genome editing in agriculture aim to create plant varieties that yield more and resist various stresses, be it from pests or environmental factors.

Old vs. New Techniques:

  • In the past, before genetic engineering, farmers relied on selective breeding. This meant carefully mating plants with specific traits to get those traits in the next generation.
  • Genetic engineering has revolutionized this process, making it not only more precise but also giving scientists more control over developing desired characteristics.


  • Around the world, there’s been a lot of talk about GM crops, and environmentalists are not too thrilled about them due to concerns about safety and insufficient data. In India, getting GM crops approved is a lengthy process with multiple checks. So far, the only one to make it through all the regulations is Bt cotton.
  • Scientists from India and around the world want to make it clear that there’s a difference between GM crops and genome-edited crops. They emphasize that the latter doesn’t have any foreign genetic material, making them pretty much the same as traditional hybrids.
  • When it comes to regulations, European Union countries consider genome-edited crops on par with GM crops. On the other hand, countries like Argentina, Israel, the US, and Canada have more relaxed rules for genome-edited crops.

Read Also: Insurgency in Manipur

Demo Class/Enquiries

blog form

More Links
What's New
IAS NEXT is a topmost Coaching Institute offering guidance for Civil & Judicial services like UPSC, State PCS, PCS-J exams since more than 10 years.
Contact Us
Social Icon

Copyright ©  C S NEXT EDUCATION. All Rights Reserved