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Cisgenesis and Intragenesis: Twin Sisters for Crop Improvement

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, INDIA
  • 2Dept. of Agronomy, IAS, Banaras Hindu University, Varanassi, INDIA
  • 3Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, INDIA
  • 4Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, INDIA
  • 5Department of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, INDIA
  • 6Division of Genetics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, INDIA
  • 7Department of Genetics, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya, Mohanpur, Nadia, West Bengal, INDIA
  • 8Dept. of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Central Agricultural University, Imphal, Manipur, INDIA
  • 9Division of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences & Technology, Jammu & Kashmir, INDIA

Res. J. Agriculture & Forestry Sci., Volume 1, Issue (10), Pages 22-26, November,8 (2013)


With the increase in awareness of the people about health and bio safety issue, there is reluctance for the acceptance and use of transgenic crops since it includes combination of genes between species that cannot hybridize by natural means. As an alternative way to transgenesis, two different approaches, cisgenesis and intragenesis were developed. Both these approaches use genetic transformation techniques to introduce new genes (just like transgenesis) but the donor should be from the same or sexually compatible species. In cisgenesis, the unchanged, contiguous and naturally occurring genome fragment containing the gene of interest along with its own introns and regulatory sequences are fragmented as such, and transferred into the host genome. Whereas in case of intragenesis, gene of interest is taken from other source while the regulatory elements and introns from another source and a new combination of DNA fragments are created artificially through in vitro rearrangement. But, one point to be noted here is that the source should belong to the same species or from a cross compatible species. Public research institutes based on European Union (EU) play a big role in the R&D of these techniques. These techniques will be of immense use for crop improvement if the end products are classified as non- GMOs but will have limited use if classified as GMOs. Therefore, the legal status of these techniques will decide whether to use these techniques only for crops with very high value or will use extensively for a broader field of applications.


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