What Is the Terminator Gene?


Quick Answer

A terminator gene is a generic term used to describe the laboratory-modified genes of plants that can render the seeds of the plant sterile. It is part of a broader section of the biotechnology industry known as genetic-use-restriction technology.

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Full Answer

Terminator genes are created by modifying the existing genes or by introducing foreign genes into the gene sequencing of the targeted plant. The modified genes remain dormant until a catalyst is introduced to the plant. This allows genetically modified plants to be cultivated generation to generation until it is deemed necessary for scientific or commercial reasons to activate the terminator gene. In 1999, the agricultural biotechnology company, Monsanto, pledged not to commercialize seeds for plants containing the terminator gene.

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