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Biotechnology UPSC Previous Year Questions


Biotechnology (Science and Technology)  UPSC Previous Years Prelims Questions


1. Consider the following statements: [UPSC (Pre) – 2020]

1. Genetic changes can be introduced in the cells that produce eggs or sperms of a prospective parent.

2. A person’s genome can be edited before birth at the early embryonic stage.

3. Human-induced pluripotent stem cells can be injected into the embryo of a pig.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 1,2 and 3

Ans: d


2. In the context of recent advances in human reproductive technology, “Pronuclear Trans- fer” is used for [UPSC (Pre) – 2020]

(a) fertilization of egg in vitro by the donor sperm

(b) genetic modification of sperm producing cells

(c) development of stem cells into functional embryos

(d) prevention of mitochondrial diseases in offspring

Ans: d


3. With reference to the recent developments in science, which one of the following state- ments is not correct? [UPSC (Pre) – 20191

(a) Functional chromosomes can be created by joining segments of DNA taken from cells of different species.

(b) Pieces of artificial functional DNA can be created in laboratories.

(c) A piece of DNA taken out from an ani-mal cell can be made to replicate outsidea living cell in a laboratory.

(d) Cells taken out from plants and animals can be made to undergo cell division in laboratory petri dishes.

Ans: a


4. RNA interference (RNAi)’ technology has gained popularity in the last few years. Why?

[UPSC (Pre) – 2019]

1. It is used in developing gene silencing therapies.

2. It can be used in developing therapies for the treatment of cancer.

3. It can be used to develop hormone replacement therapies.

4. It can be used to produce crop plants that are resistant to viral pathogens.

Select the correct answer using the codes

(a) 1, 2 and 4

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 1 and 4 only

Ans: a


5. What is Cas9 protein that is often mentioned in news? [UPSC (Pre) – 20191

(a) A molecular scissors used in targeted gene editing gene editing

(b) A biosensor used in the accurate detection of pathogens in patients

(c) A gene that makes plants pest-resistant

(d) A herbicidal substance synthesised in genetically modified crops

Ans: a


6. With reference to the Genetically Modified mustard (GM mustard) developed in India, consider the following statements: [UPSC (Pre) – 2018]

1. GM mustard has the genes of a soil bacterium that give the plant the property of pest-resistance to a wide variety of pests.

2. GM mustard has the genes that allow the plant cross-pollination and hybridization.

3. GM mustard has been developed jointly by the IARI and Punjab Agricultural University.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3

(b) Only 2

(c) 2 and 3

(d) 1.2 and 3

Ans: b


7. What is the application of Somatic Cell CJ Nuclear Transfer Technology?

[UPSC (Pre) – 2017]

(a) Production of bio-larvicides

(b) Manufacture of biodegradable plastics

(c) Reproductive cloning of animals

(d) Production of organisms free of diseases

Ans: c


8. With reference to agriculture in India, how can the technique of genome sequencing often seen in the news, be used in the immediate future? [UPSC (Pre) – 20171

(i) Genome sequencing can be used to identify genetic markers for disease resistance

and drought tolerance in various crop plants.

(ii) This technique helps in reducing the time required to develop new varieties of crop plants.

(lil) It can be used to decipher the host- pathogen relationships in crops.

select the correct answer using the codes given below

(a) Only (i)

(b) (ii) and (ili)

(c) (i) and (ii)

(d) All of these

Ans: d


9. In the context of the developments in bioinformatics, the term transcriptome, sometimes

seen in the news, refers to: [UPSC (Pre) – 2016]

(a) A range of enzymes used in genome editing

(b) The full range of mRNA molecules expressed by an organism

(c) The description of the mechanism of gene expression

(d A mechanism of genetic mutations taking place in cell

Ans: b


10. The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee is constituted under the [UPSC (Pre) – 2015]

(a) Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006

(b) Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act. 1999

(c) Environment (Protection) Act, 1986

(d) Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

Ans: c


11. Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding vegetative propagation of plants?

[UPSC (Pre) – 2014]

(i) Vegetative propagation produces clonal population.

(ii) Vegetative propagation helps in eliminating the virus.

(iii) Vegetative propagation can be practiced most of the year.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below,

(a) Only (i)

(b) (ii) and (ili)

(c) (i) and (ili)

(d) All of these

Ans: c


12. Consider the following techniques/phenomena [UPSC (Pre) – 2014]

(i) Budding and grafting in fruit plants.

(ii) Cytoplasmic male sterility

(iii) Gene silencing

Which of the above is/are used to create transgenic crops?

(a) Only (i)

(b) (ii) and (iii)

(c) (i) and (iii)

(d) None of these

Ans: b


13. Recombinant DNA technology (Genetic Engineering) allows genes to be transferred [UPSC (Pre) – 2013

(i) across different species of plants

(ii) from animals to plants

(iii) from microorganisms to higher organisms

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

(a) Only (i)

(b) (ii) and (iii)

(c) (i) and (iii)

(d) All of these

Ans: d


14. Mycorrhizal biotechnology has been used in rehabilitating degraded sites because mycorrhiza enables the plants to: [UPSC (Pre) – 20131

(i) Resist drought and increase absorptive area

(ii) Tolerate extremes of pH

(iii) Resist disease infestation

Select the correct answer using the codes

given below.

(a) Only (i)

(b) (i) and (iii)

(c) (i) and (iii)

(d) All of these

Ans: d


15. Consider the following kinds of organisms: [UPSC (Pre) – 2012]

(i) Bacteria

(i) Fungi

(iii) Flowering plants

Some species of which of the above kinds of organisms are employed as biopesticides?

(a) Only (i)

(b) (ii) and (iii)

(c) (i) and (iii)

(d) All of these

Ans: d


16. With reference to ‘stem cells’, frequently in the news, which of the following statements is/are correct? [UPSC (Pre) – 2012]

(i) Stem cells can be derived from mammals only.

(ii) Stem cells can be used for screening new drugs.

(iii) Stem cells can be used for medical therapies.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) (i) and (ii)

(b) (ii) and (iii)

(c) Only (iii)

(d) All of these

Ans: b


17. What are the reasons for the people’s resistance to the introduction of Bt-brinial in India?

[UPSC (Pre) – 2012]

(i) Bt-brinjal has been created by inserting a gene from a soil fungus into its genome.

(ii) The seeds of Bt-brinjal are terminator seeds and therefore, the farmers have to buy the seeds before every season from the seed companies.

(iii) There is an apprehension that the consumption of Bt-brinjal may have adverse

impact on health.

(iv) There is some concern that the introduction of Bt-brinial may have adverse effect

on the biodiversity.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a) (i), (ii) and (iii)

(b) (i) and (iii)

(c) (iii) and (iv)

(d) All of these

Ans: c


18. At present, scientists can determine the arrangement or relative positions of genes or

DNA sequences on a chromosome. How does this knowledge benefit us? [UPSC (Pre) – 2011]

(i) It is possible to know the pedigree of livestock.

(i) It is possible to understand the causes of all human diseases.

(iii) It is possible to develop disease-resistant animal breeds.

Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?

(a) (i) and (ii)

(b) Only (i)

(c) (i) and (iii)

(d) All of these

Ans: c


19. A genetically engineered form of brinjal known as the Bt-brinjal, has been developed.

The objective of this is (UPSC (Pre) – 2011

(a) to make it pest-resistant

(b) to improve its taste and nutritive qualities

(c) to make it drought-resistant.

(d) to make its shelf-life longer.

Ans: a


20. Mon 863 is a variety of maize. It was in the news for the following reason:

[UPSC (Pre) – 2011

(a) It is a genetically modified dwarf variety, which is resistant to drought.

(b) It is a genetically modified variety, which is pest resistant.

(c) It is a genetically modified variety with ten-times higher protein content than regular maize crop.

(d) It is a genetically modified variety used exclusively for biofuel production.

Ans: b


21. Which bacterial strain, developed from natural isolates by genetic manipulations, can be used

for treating oil spills? [UPSC (Pre) – 2010

(a) Agrobacterium

(b) Clostridium

(c) Nitrosomonas

(d) Pseudomonas

Ans: d


22. Genetically modified “golden rice” has been engineered to meet human nutritional requirements. Which one of the following statements best qualifies golden rice? [UPSC (Pre) – 2010|

(a) The grains have been fortified with genes to provide three times higher grain yield per acre than other high-yielding varieties.

(b) Its grains contain pro-vitamin A, which upon ingestion, are converted to vitamin A in the human body.

(c) Its modified genes cause the synthesis of all the nine essential amino acids.

(d) Its modified genes cause the fortification of its grains with Vitamin D.

Ans: b


23. Which one of the following pairs is not correctly matched? [UPSC (Pre) – 2006]

Recent Scientific Achievement    –    Country

(a) Creating the world’s first mouse with a full human chromosome   –    United Kingdom

(b) Cloning a human embryo for the first time   –    Germany

(c) Guiding a spacecraft for collision with a comet –    USA

(d) Landing a spacecraft on an asteroid –   Japan

Ans: b


24. The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, whose permission is required for the cultivation of any genetically modified crop such as Bt-Cotton in India, is under the Union Ministry of: [UPSC (Pre) – 2003]

(a) Agriculture

(b) Environment and Forests

(c) Commerce and Industry

(d) Rural Development

Ans: b


25. With reference to the latest developments in stem cell research, consider the following statements. [UPSC (Pre) – 2002

(i) The only source of human stem cells are the embryos at blastocyst stage.

(ii) The stem cells can be derived without causing destruction to blastocysts.

(iii) The stem cells can regenerate themselves in vitro virtually forever.

(iv) Indian research centres also created a few cell lines, which can be developed into any types of tissues.

Which of these statements are correct?

(a) All of these

(b) (i), (ii) and (iii)

(c) (i), (i) and (iv)

(d) (iii) and (iv)

Ans: d


26. Assertion: Scientists can cut apart and paste together DNA molecules at will, regardless of

the source of the molecules.

Reason: DNA fragments can be manipulated using restriction endonucleases and DNA

Ligases  [UPSC (Pre) – 2001]

(a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A.

(b) Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A.

(c) A is true but R is false

(d) A is false but R is true

Ans: a


27. The American multinational company, Monsanto has produced an insect-resistant cotton variety that is undergoing field-trials in India.

A toxin gene from which one of the following bacteria has been transferred to this transgenic cotton? [UPSC (Pre) – 2001]

(a) Bacillus subtilis

(b) Bacillus thurigiensis

(c) Bacillus amyloliquifanciens

(d) Bacillus globilli

Ans: b


28. Assertion: ‘DNA fingerprinting’ has become a powerful tool to establish paternity and identity of criminals, in rape and assault cases.

Reason: Trace evidences such as hairs, saliva arid dried semen are adequate for DNA.

[UPSC (Pre) – 2000]

(a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A.

(b) Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A.

(c) A is true but R is false

(d) A is false but R is true

Ans: a


29. Insect-resistant cotton plants have been genetically engineered by inserting a gene from a/an:

[UPSC (Pre) – 2000]

(a) virus

(b) bacterium

(c) insect

(d) plant

Ans: b


30. Which one of the following organisms can serve as a bio-fertilizer for rice crop?

[UPSC (Pre) – 2000]

(a) Blue-green algae

(b) Rhizobium sp

(c) Mycorrhizal fungi

(d) Azotobactersp

Ans: a


31. Assertion: Dolly was the first cloned mammal.

Reason: Dolly was produced by in-vitro fertilization.

[UPSC (Pre) – 1999]

(a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A.

(b) Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A.

(c) A is true but R is false.

(d) A is false but R is true.

Ans: b


32. Assertion: Insect-resistant transgenic cotton has been produced by inserting Bt gene.

Reason: The Bt gene is derived from a bacterium.

[UPSC (Pre) – 1999]

(a) Both A and R are true and R is the correct explanation of A.

(b) Both A and R are true but R is not the correct explanation of A.

(c) A is true but R is false.

(d) A is false but R is true.

Ans: b


33. Indian farmers are unhappy over the introduction of ‘Terminator Seed Technology’ be-

cause the seeds produced by this technology are expected to:

[UPSC (Pre) – 19991

(a) show poor germination

(b) form low-yielding plants, despite the high quality

(c) give rise to sexually sterile plants

(d) give rise to plants incapable of forming viable seeds

Ans: d


34. Change in the base sequence within the gene is called:

[UPPCS (Pre) Exam – 2016]

(a) Breeding

(b) Cloning

(c) Mutation

(d) Fusion

Ans: c


35. Which of the following is used in Genetic Engineering? (UPPCS (Pre) Exam – 20151

(a) Plastid

(b) Plasmid

(c) Mitochondria

(d) Ribosome

Ans: b


36. Biotechnology Park is located at: [UPPCS (Pre) Exam – 2014]

(a) Lucknow

(b) Varanasi

(c) Agra

(d) None of these

Ans: a


37. Golden rice has the highest quantity of: [UPPCS (Pre) Exam – 20111

(a) Vitamin A

(b) Vitamin B

(c) Vitamin C

(d) Vitamin K

Ans: a


38. The micro-organism, which is associated with the production of Bt cotton is a: [UPPCS (Pre) Exam – 2010

(a) Fungus

(b) Bacterium

(c) Blue-green Algae

(d) Virus

Ans: b


39. Bacillus thuringiensis is used as a: [Uttaranchal PCS – 2012]

(a) Biofertilizer

(b) Biological insecticide

(c) Chemical fertilizer

(d) Chemical insecticide

Ans: b


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