Genetic Engineering in Agriculture | BLOG SHURUWAATAGRI
Genetic engineering refers to a branch of biotechnology in which the genome of an organism is modified either randomly or specifically by omission or introduction of any gene to the genome. In Agriculture, its utility remains in optimizing any agronomic trait such as improvement in yields or resistance to pests or addition of any gene of interest facilitating multiple advantages and so on.
• Enhanced production, for instance, take the case of pomato where through grafting both potato and tomato are grown on the same plant, and crop production is enhanced together with better resistance to insects.
• Resistance to pests and diseases like insect resistance traits are found in bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis which is exploited in cotton, maize, brinjal, and soybean.
• Increment in nutrient level, will even help those who do not have enough money to get adequate quantity by increasing nutrient level in a given quantity.
• Short life cycle as it welcomes quicker maturity.
• Better quality of products as in golden rice the quality was enhanced with the addition of vitamin A through the synthesis of beta carotene which is its precursor.
• Reduction in cost, since the production cost is lowered because of escape of pesticides etc., and the output is enhanced thus it is very much cost-effective.
• Better health insurance, with the increased nutrient level it ensures the healthy you.
• Better heat and light tolerance
A few years ago, a wave of Vitamin A deficiency hit many parts of the world, especially the developing countries resulting in night blindness and many fatalities. The scientists then gave a great solution to this problem. They found rice as the staple food of many of the affected areas and introduced the concept of golden rice. Ingo Potrykus and Peter Beyer then engineered a multi-gene biochemical pathway in the genome of rice that released beta carotene which is a precursor of Vitamin A. Even the golden color it possesses is due to the presence of beta carotene.
It is developed not as a result of interbreeding of two crops it is not possible but as a grafting horticultural practice. In this, a suitable variety of both the plants is taken and grafted. For example, cherry tomatoes are taken as scion and white potatoes are taken as rootstock and a double profit plant is exercised. It ensures more and more efficient food production along with resistance to pests and attraction sites of pollinators. It is a heavy feeding plant and ensures optimum Ca level for the success of the plant. Let me state a few Ca deficiency symptoms for you
Inhibition in growth
The bushy appearance of plants
Curling of leaves
Dead leaf margins
Bacillus thuringiensis produce toxins that are harmful to insects. The cry toxin molecules get dissolved in the stomachs of insects and are killed. This helped release the problem of bollworm and save a huge amount of pesticides that were previously used. Let me be very clear that it offers resistance to certain cotton insects not all like it is harmless to plant bugs, stink bugs, etc. In 2002, Mahyco introduced it to India. As an outcome, in India, it was reported a reduction in 2.4 to 9 million fewer cases of pesticide poisoning.
Genetically modified cotton offers resistance against insects because of the proposal of Bacillus thuringiensis in it. It offers resistance to harmful insects at the same time prevents harmless and beneficial insects and allows them to create biodiversity. Note that it is harmless to humans.
G M Mustard
Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 is a variety of herbicide-tolerant GM Mustard but yet to be approved by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee.
Through genetic engineering, in potatoes, a variety called innate potato is capable of providing pest resistance and preventing browning of potatoes especially while storage was introduced. It also helped prevent cancer that was caused as a result of carcinogens during the frying of potatoes. The gene introduced does not belong to any other species.
It is also glyphosate-resistant and so it kills weed along with ensuring crop safety (glyphosate is a commonly used herbicide).
The genetically modified variety of sugar beet called Roundup Ready offers glyphosate resistance. The sugar and nutrition level is the same in both conventional and modified varieties of sugar beets thus it poses a loss in the terms of nutrient content.
The major oppositions to its wider acceptance pertain to
• It sometimes causes tissue damage and results in altered immune.
• Exploitation of small farmers.
• Bt brinjal makes us consume a few of the genes but thinks rationally normally it requires up to 30 sprays of insecticides now choose the less harmful one and consume it.
• In India since 2009, there has been no GM crop released despite the end of 10 years moratorium that was held after the protest of Bt brinjal from the public.
It becomes the duty of the government to mandate the affirmation of GM crops considering health benefits as essentiality.
Seeds can be bought through
Information of seed could be availed through
The only genetically modified crop released in India is Bt cotton. The scientists such as Norman Borlaug, father of the green revolution, chiefs of ICAR and IARI, and ministers like Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee were in favor of the use of GM crops to eradicate food insecurity and accelerate the economy. Being consumed in countries like China and grown on over 10% of the total land in the world it has yet been inefficient to pose health hazards.