Isn’t it hard to imagine how technology could get better for the plant life cluster? Well, advancements and research in this area have proven so.
For decades, researchers and scientists have made improvements to crop plants through selective breeding and hybridization – the controlled pollination of plants. Plant Biotechnology is an extension of the conventional plant breeding with one significant difference:
“It allows the transfer of a greater variety of genetic information in a more precise, controlled manner.”
Puzzled about what plant biotechnology means? Here’s a clue.
It is said to be a combination of advanced techniques used to adapt plants to specific needs & opportunities.
For instance, a single crop can be used to provide sustainable food and healthful nutrition, protection of the environment, and opportunities for income. Finding suitable plants is typically a complex challenge.
The study of Plant Biotechnology focuses on core subjects such as molecular plant breeding, genetic engineering, genomics, plant tissue culture, proteomics and molecular and cell biology. With the use of more than one billion acres worldwide, plant biotechnology delivers proven economic and environmental benefits, a rock-hard record of safe use and promising products for our future.
Note: Several colleges and universities offer separate courses in these disciplines.
The Big Changes Brought by Plant Biotechnology
Past years have seen that the biotech innovations are trying to make the world a better place. Plant and agriculture field is seen to be clicking for the aspirants who take academic research and plan their career in plant biotechnology.
Here is the list of biotech breakthroughs in the recent years:
Biotech crops, or genetically modified crops (GMCs) are plants used in the agriculture industry to introduce a new characteristic of the plant which does not occur naturally in the species.
The benefit of these crops is – these are said to be disease-resistant, pest-resistant and herbicide tolerant. Therefore, these crops have helped farmers around the world increase production, boost incomes and enable to farm more sustainably.
Plant Biotechnology gives built-in resistance against insects to plants, which helps to avoid significant crop losses.
Assortments of maize have been adapted to hold an insecticidal protein from a naturally occurring soil microorganism that provides a shielding to plants from corn borer worms.
Also, insect-resistant varieties of soybean and cotton have been found. Researchers estimate that if this breakthrough was brought in countries like India, “it could increase yields by 37% and reduce insecticide applications.”
Researchers at the Copenhagen University have discovered a natural process called reverse photosynthesis for faster production, decreased energy consumption and less pollution.
This research appears to have larger benefits to the renewable energy industry and for the petrochemical industry. However, reverse photosynthesis does not produce carbon dioxide and water as you might expect.
It is a process where the enzymes use atmospheric oxygen and the Sun rays to break down and transmute carbon bonds, in plants among other things, instead of building plants and creating oxygen as is usually thought about photosynthesis.
The discovery means that using Sun rays, we can fastly produce biofuels and biochemicals for things like plastics, at lower temperatures and with enhanced energy-efficiency.
Skimming through the shots of these significant findings makes it clear that science and technology has limitless opportunities to offer.
Plant Biotechnology is one of the growing saplings of the science world. In the coming years, this field will be the most chosen one. If you wish to be a part of the breakthrough era, this is the time. Probably, you might not want to miss on something that is going to be one of the most rewarding fields.