7 What Are Some Examples Of Transgenic Plants And Animals Biotechnology in Agriculture

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Biotechnology in Agriculture

The term agriculture refers to the cultivation of plants, animals for food, fuel, clothing, medicine and other products which are essential to our lives. Conventional agriculture is practiced in several ways by different people around the globe. It is known that agricultural products have different quality from country to country and some of the agricultural products are not seen in some countries of the world while they are abundant in the rest of the world. This variation is due to several factors including climatic conditions, weather, water availability, mineral content of the soil and last but not least political and geographical factors. Another factor that led to the development of modern agriculture is the need to increase the yield of plant products, resistance to diseases, pests, drought in plant products.

Biotechnology has emerged from traditional science to overcome problems in every aspect of life, from plant breeding to genetic engineering. Of the major applications of Biotechnology, Agricultural Biotechnology is one. It involves the development of plants in such a way that plants produce high yields of products such as grains, vegetables, fruits, leaves (leafy vegetables) and they can tolerate extreme conditions such as high temperature, high salinity in water and humidity. high in the air. Furthermore we can produce herbal products according to our needs and can control the characteristics such as color, taste, smell and size of fruits and vegetables. All this is made possible by exploiting the properties of the miracle molecule called DNA (De Oxy Ribose Nucleic Acid). Since the discovery of DNA, scientists have developed solutions to overcome problems in agriculture by modifying the genetic structure of DNA.

Crops whose DNA has been modified are called “transgenic plants” or “transgenic crops”, and products derived from these plants are called genetically modified plant products. So how is this done? All living things, including animals, plants, bacteria, fungi and microorganisms have DNA, which guides their development and the way to their survival. This DNA is in turn divided into “genes”, which are specific to each feature and function of a living organism. That is, if we modify genes, we are actually modifying some particular ‘trait’ or ‘function’ of that organism or some part of that organism. The same principle applies in Agricultural Biotechnology. If we are looking to improve the color of the flowers produced by a plant, we can change the genetic makeup of the gene that is responsible for that color. This procedure can be done using any plant part, another example would be to increase the sweetness of a fruit, in this case we modify the gene responsible for the production of fructose. Fructose is a sugar that gives fruit its sweetness, in theory, if we change the gene to produce more fructose, then the fruit will become sweeter.

The major breakthrough in agriculture was seen when the “Flavr Savr” tomatoes were introduced to the American markets on May 21, 1994. This discovery led to the foundation for storing vegetables and fruits without refrigeration for several days. An enzyme called Polyglacturonase is responsible for breaking down the pectin of the cell wall. A gene complementary to the Polyglacturonase gene can be cloned using antisense RNA technology. This antisense gene will block the polygalacturonase produced by its own gene and thus stop the rotting of fruits and vegetables. Since the cell wall decay enzyme is produced in very small amounts, the delay in spoilage of fruits and vegetables increases. Now this revolutionary technology is used to save millions of dollars every year by reducing the loss of fruits and vegetables during transport.

We have discussed only a few applications from the large database of Biotechnology applications in Agriculture. While we have only seen the benefits of Biotechnology, at the same time everything in this world has its pros and cons and Biotechnology is no exception to this. The non-scientific community has said much about the potential dangers of Biotechnology to us and our environment, but so far there is little evidence from scientific studies that the dangers are real. At the same time, we experience the range of benefits offered by transgenic plants beyond those that emerged from traditional agricultural practices.

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