Genetically modified organism

From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary



An organism whose genetic material has been modified or altered, especially through genetic engineering techniques.


Nowadays, the genomes of various organisms, from single celled microbes to multicellular plants and animals, can be purposely transformed using recombinant DNA technology. The transgenic organisms are used mainly in the production of pharmaceuticals, gene therapy, and agriculture. However, there are ethical issues concerning their use and production. No matter how crucial their uses are, the limitation of the knowledge of modern science as well as the possibility of unforeseen negative effects in health and environment are some of the issues being raised up against their use.

Abbreviation: GMO

Also called: genetically engineered organism (GEO)

See also: recombinant DNA technology.