According to the World Health Organization, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally. The technology is often called “modern biotechnology” or “gene technology”, sometimes also “recombinant DNA technology” or “genetic engineering”. It allows selected individual genes to be transferred from one organism into another, also between non-related species.
This relatively new technology first made its way into the "food stream" in the mid-1990s and shouldn't be confused with conventional plant breeding and research which has relied on seed selection, grafting and hybridization to develop improved plant foods. Ones that can resist disease or produce larger, sweeter, more desirable foodstuffs.
For millennia, humans have selected seeds and plants that better suit our needs -- larger fruit, better tasting vegetables, longer storing grain, disease resistant vines. We saved those seeds or grafted those trees that we liked best.
Land grant institutions, formed in the second half of the 19th century, formalized agricultural education and eventually morphed into the centers of learning that specialize in ag research today. New York's Cornell is one of the oldest land grant universities and, although it doesn't hew toward a particular philosophy, some of its researchers continue to use traditional, non-genetic methods to develop fruit trees and food plants that solve agricultural problems and ease production.
For a domesticated plant to be developed at a research facility only means that humans tailored it to meet our needs. It can mean that its genes were manipulated, but more than likely, it was bred or grafted by a far more conventional means to enhance a particular feature: Akin to what farmers have done for thousands of years -- albeit with more spreadsheets and statistical analysis.