USE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN AGRICULTURE
The use of biotechnology in the agriculture can be termed as agricultural biotechnology which is briefly known as Agritech.
Agricultural biotechnology is defined as an area of biotechnology that involves the application of the scientific techniques to improve and modify microorganisms, plants, animals.
Agritech is based on the understanding of DNA.
Due to the large population in India agricultural biotechnology is very much useful as it produces disease free plants and produce large number of plants with the desired qualities with the help of tissue culture, Genetic engineering, Molecular markers.
Applications of Biotechnology in Agriculture
Genetic Engineering: With the help of Genetic engineering there are many
crops produced by transferring the desired DNA to the plants. GE crops have high productivity as the crop damage caused by weeds and diseases is reduced.
Molecular Diagnostics : Molecular diagnostics, the methods used to identify the
genes that are accurate and specific. Molecular diagnostics are used to diagnose
the diseases of the crops or livestock.
VACCINES: Vaccines developed through biotechnology are safer than the tradition vaccines to the human and livestock. These vaccines are cheap and are stable at room temperature.
Tissue culture: Tissue culture is the process of regeneration of a whole plant from a disease free parts (tissue) of the plant by growing in an artificial medium. It helps to grow the disease- free plants.
Molecular markers: Molecular markers play an important role for the breeding
to be more precise. They detect the plants with desired DNA even if the visible
trait is not present.
Use of Biotechnology in Agriculture:
• The usage of biotechnology techniques results in high crop productivity
because of the introduction of disease resistance and drought resistance qualities to the plants.
• The GE crops like cotton, potato produce a protein that kills the pests those
feed on the plants. This is cost effective.
• The GE crops can be herbicide tolerant and also resistant to viruses.
• It is also used to enhance the activities of enzymes to produce a better
flavour for the fruits.
• Transgenic crops are produced for providing the improved nutritional
value through crops like soybean, potato.
• There may be some risks in agricultural technology like, the GE crops may introduce allergens into safe crops and when cross pollinated they may produce super weeds. Even though there are some risks the use of biotechnology in agriculture helps the farmer to get high economic produce with high nutrition value and good returns.