Genetic engineering is the most powerful technology of this century which is dramatically revolutionizing the agriculture, health, pharmaceutical, and food industries all over the world. Transcriptomics and genetic engineering go hand in hand from the development of a genetically modified organism (GMO) to its utilization by the humans. Transcriptome analysis is the analysis of messenger RNAs (mRNAs), which are produced by transcription of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in an organism in response to a specific internal/external environment. Transcriptome analysis is not only useful to dig out the potential target genes for genetic modifications but also utilized to study the proper functioning of a genetically engineered gene, evaluation of the GMO for biosafety risks and for monitoring the presence and movement of GMO. Despite huge scope of genetic engineering, these manipulations can upset the natural balance of a genome by insertional, soma clonal, and pleiotropic effects of a foreign gene resulting in unintended alterations along with the targeted changes. The untargeted alterations pose risks to environment and health of animals and plants. In this chapter, the key advancements in the field of biotechnology and the relevant biosafety issues are reviewed. The advantages and limitations of the current methods used for the evaluation, monitoring, and regulation of GMOs are discussed.
Part of the book: Applications of RNA-Seq and Omics Strategies