It is possible to put a tiny amount of Human DNA in a plant: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-story-of-how-an-artist-created-a-genetic-hybrid-of-himself-and-a-petunia-25148544/


The plant does not in any way resemble a humanoid, nor does it have any significant human attributes like red blood or sweating or mucus. It's still, for the most part, a plant. But genetically, it is a chimera.

If it is possible to put a small amount of human DNA in a plant like this, without drastically changing the plant, I wondered if it would be possible to splice plant DNA or RNA into a human, by means of genetic modifications, without significantly changing people.

For example, a peach has over 27,000 different genes. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10902716/


Could it be possible to select some small amount of "junk DNA," replace it with peach genes and splice them into humans, so that the end result is a human that is a totally normal, able-bodied, healthy person that just has some small amount of peach DNA, for no specific ethical or unethical reason?

The hypothetical desired end result would not be a specific function, such as plant people, human peach fuzz or chlorophyll as a replacement for melanin but merely a person who is 99% Human and 1% Peach, or, 99.9% Human and 0.1% Peach.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, it is possible... but to what end? If to no purpose other than having done it, it's easy. If to some other purpose, that would depend on the purpose. Please edit your question to provide more details. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Mar 3 at 3:03
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    $\begingroup$ Momotarō... $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Mar 3 at 4:04
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    $\begingroup$ Peach flavoured people? for the cannibal that doesn't like bacon? $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Mar 3 at 4:48
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    $\begingroup$ This opens up all sorts of double entendre puns regarding the eating of Peaches. $\endgroup$ Mar 3 at 5:46
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    $\begingroup$ We have some questiona about storing data in a person's DNA without harming the person. See here and here. If you can do that, then you can store data that just so happens to be part of the peach genome. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Mar 3 at 19:01

2 Answers 2


No need to go that far. We already share tons of genes with plants.

If you google it up, many news sites will tell you that we share around half of our genes with bananas. That is a misconception - some sources quote a 60% overlap of DNA between humans and some plants, but only 2% of our DNA is made of genes. Still, that leaves room for thousands of genes to be common between plants and animals.

We share a common ancestor some hundreds of millions of years ago with plants, and some of the most important housekeeping genes from that ancestor are still around. These are genes that all eukariotes need, such as genes for building organelles, breaking down sugars and keeping a cell wall in working condition.

Plant also have mitochondria too so we also share DNA there (people usually forget that our midi-chlorians have a chromossome of their own).

And all that is without any human-made gene altering :)

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    $\begingroup$ Uhm...midi-chlorians? $\endgroup$
    – And
    Mar 3 at 12:19
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    $\begingroup$ @And looks like a joke. $\endgroup$
    – fectin
    Mar 3 at 14:36
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    $\begingroup$ @And that is a joke on the worst bit of writing in Star Wars. Midi-chlorians = mitochondria. $\endgroup$ Mar 3 at 17:48
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    $\begingroup$ @TheSquare-CubeLaw I agree that the difference between sharing genes and sharing DNA is important, which is part of why I wanted to clarify what the source was claiming. -- Your link says "only 1.2% of our DNA is shared", which is different from your claim that "we share around half of our genes" should actually be 1.2%. -- Additionally, the 1.2% is suspect as they apparently just multiply "60% genetically similar" and "2% of DNA is genes" (0.60 * 0.02 = 0.012). I'm at a loss as to why they think that multiplication is valid. $\endgroup$
    – R.M.
    Mar 3 at 23:19
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    $\begingroup$ @TheSquare-CubeLaw you're likely to see a higher percentage of conserved genes than conserved DNA between organisms. This is because, broadly, except in rare cases, changes to genes are highly detrimental - an alteration to an important gene is often lethal. So we see small variations, lots of shared genes for important stuff like metabolism. Genes tend to be highly conserved, junk DNA tends not to be. $\endgroup$
    – lupe
    Mar 4 at 21:00

Yes, that's totally doable. There are plenty of "junk DNA" sequences that could be replaced, and the change would have no effect on us. It might take a bit of experimenting to find one that didn't result in the DNA snagging when it tries to fold back into a cell's nucleus.

It would be more difficult to replace a sequence that did something. They tend to work in clusters when they actually express, and you'd never know where that protein was going to be expressed and when. It's common to ask if we could, for instance, replace our melamine expression with chlorophyl or something. We've already made goats that exude spider silk in their breast milk, for instance.

When they write "the code" for the first synthetic bacteria, they even added a third base pair, and then encoded a bunch of information like a picture of a human hand into the extra space between the functional DNA.

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    $\begingroup$ Melamine? (The goats expressed spidroin in their milk, not ready-made spider silk. There is a lot to be done to extract the spidroin from the milk and then to spin it into fiber. And of course goats don't have breasts. They have udders. Udder milk?) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Mar 3 at 3:59
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    $\begingroup$ Oops, yea, melanin. A mammary gland, by any other name, is genetically interchangeable with a spinnerete. $\endgroup$ Mar 3 at 6:50

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