1. Explain how genetic engineering could be used to increase the protein storage capacity of crop plants.
2. Describe a suite of experiments to make and use reporter-gene-constructs to monitor the expression profile of a particular plant gene. Assume you have all the necessary molecular biology tools available to you. Discuss possible alternative strategies together with their advantages and disadvantages.
3. Compare and contrast conventional plant breeding, with CRISPR-cas9 mediated strategies. What are the advantages and disadvantages of both methods? (50%)
Describe the molecular basis of CRISPR-Cas9-mediated genome editing and of Marker Assisted Selection and give examples of their use in plants. (50%)
4. The gene cluster encoding the biosynthesis of a new class of antibiotic has been identified and sequenced. It is known that maturation of the antibiotic occurs outside the bacterial host through proteolysis of a peptide component. This maturation step is inefficient within the conditions of the fermenter.
Describe how you would use directed evolution to (i) improve the efficiency of the maturation step and (ii) the overall yield of the antibiotic. Justify your choice of approaches with reference to relevant and recent examples in the literature
Through the careful manipulation of genetic engineering, the protein storage capacity of crop plants can be increased, providing a more efficient and reliable food source for a growing population. With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, the need for an efficient and reliable food source is becoming increasingly important. Genetic engineering, which utilizes the manipulation of genetic material to create desired traits in living organisms, could provide a viable solution. By increasing the protein storage capacity of crop plants, genetic engineering could provide a more efficient and reliable source of food for a growing population.
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