Genetic Engineering

Similar term(s): genetic modification, recombinant DNA technology.


The technique of removing, modifying, or adding genes to a DNA molecule [of an organism] in order to change the information it contains. By changing this information, genetic engineering changes the type or amount of proteins an organism is capable of producing, thus enabling it to make new substances or perform new functions.

Source: US Department of Agriculture, Glossary of Biotechnology terms 


The objective of genetic engineering is to produce desired characteristics and to eliminate undesirable ones.

Examples of desired characteristics sought for plants include fast growth, pest resistance and larger size. Organisms modified by genetic engineering are sometimes referred to as transgenic, bioengineered, or genetically modified organisms.

Source: GreenFacts

Related words:

Recombinant DNA technology

To read about this term in context:

GreenFacts Summary on Genetically Modified Crops:


Español: Ingeniería genética
Français: Génie génétique
Nederlands: Genetische technologie

Related publications: