How genetic engineering can be vital to sustainable agriculture practices


Genetic engineering is a tool to speed up breeding for new varieties, which can help farmers and agricultural systems adapt to rapidly changing physical growing conditions, technology, and global markets.

Genetic engineering can be vital to sustainable agriculture practices by helping reduce damage from pest species.


What is genetic engineering and why is it important to agriculture?

 · Biotechnology particularly recombines the DNA technologies, employs a scientific program that is fundamental with the agricultural sustainability. Growers may use methods of genetic engineering to promote soil health, minimize …

What is the impact of New Genetics on the agriculture industry?

claiming that genetic engineering will help create a more sustainable agriculture – by reducing pesticide use and agricultural pollution, and increasing agricultural productivity and profitability. What proponents consider to be pesticide reduction receives the most attention. Most of the current products on the market or

How can biotechnology contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture?

 · As well as providing the capability to achieve a sustainable increase in the supply of nutritional oils, genetic manipulation of fatty acid metabolic pathways in plants can also open the way for a more sustainable supply of industrial raw materials, by enabling these to be sourced from renewable plant resources rather than from increasingly scarce and non …

Should we be worried about genetically-engineered food crops?

 · Genetic engineering has also been really useful in reducing the amount of insecticide used for other crops: in AZ, many farmers use cotton engineered with Bt, which kills cotton bollworm. Farmers using GE cotton can reduce the amount of chemical treatment in half, and obtain the same yield as their neighbors growing conventional alfalfa.


How does genetic engineering help sustainability?

Governments, businesses and some farm organizations are claiming that genetic engineering will help create a more sustainable agriculture – by reducing pesticide use and agricultural pollution, and increasing agricultural productivity and profitability.

How is agriculture related to genetic engineering?

Some benefits of genetic engineering in agriculture are increased crop yields, reduced costs for food or drug production, reduced need for pesticides, enhanced nutrient composition and food quality, resistance to pests and disease, greater food security, and medical benefits to the world’s growing population.

How are genetics used in agriculture?

People can use genetic information to observe or monitor the growth status of crops and provide guidelines for the field management, by which we can improve the efficiency of agricultural measures such as fertilization and irrigation, and regulate the maturity and growth habits and other important growth process of …

Can genetically modified foods be a tool within a sustainable agricultural system?

GMO technology is not only safe and regulated—it also provides us with a farming tool that has positive environmental and social impacts. GMO crop cultivation and utilization by farmers support food production system sustainability and build social opportunities for farmers and food producers by ensuring crop yields.

What are some examples of genetic engineering in agriculture?

Examples of GM crops include corn varieties containing a gene for a bacterial pesticide that kills larval pests, and soybeans with an inserted gene that renders them resistant to weed-killers such as Roundup.

How genetic engineering is essential to farmers essay?

The scientific breakthroughs in genetic engineering brought revolution in agriculture, allowing farmers to produce crops that are resistant to pests and herbicides. This created efficiency and higher amounts of food for larger populations, an attempt at battling starvation.

In which ways genetic engineering can improve crops?

The possible benefits of genetic engineering include:More nutritious food.Tastier food.Disease- and drought-resistant plants that require fewer environmental resources (such as water and fertilizer)Less use of pesticides.Increased supply of food with reduced cost and longer shelf life.Faster growing plants and animals.More items…•

Why genetic engineering is important?

The techniques employed in genetic engineering have led to the production of medically important products, including human insulin, human growth hormone, and hepatitis B vaccine, as well as to the development of genetically modified organisms such as disease-resistant plants.

Is genetic engineering sustainable?

The pros: green genetic engineering is sustainable Advocates of green genetic engineering argue that it boosts crop yields, reduces crop failure and means less use of pesticides. Its benefits are not confined to food, either.

Why are GMOs important to agriculture?

GMOs are one of modern agriculture’s many innovations and allow farmers to grow more food with fewer resources. Genetically modified traits like insect-resistance and drought-resistance help to maximize yields and enable farmers to grow more food using less land and with fewer inputs like chemicals and fuel.

Are GMOs part of sustainable agriculture?

Washington, D.C. (June 5, 2017) – Over the last twenty years, biotech crops have increased agriculture’s environmental sustainability, while providing significant economic benefits, according to a newly released global impacts study.

How to identify genes in plants?

The first step in identifying the function of a gene is to compare its nucleotide or amino acid sequence with all of the sequences in databases derived from the genomes of other organisms . A function may be assigned through similarity to other genes with known function, hence genomes can have usefulness across species or even across kingdoms in allowing us to specify function. Genome-wide mutagenesis using transposable elements such as Ac/Ds, Tos17 (an endogenous retrotransposon of rice) or T-DNA insertions has resulted in the production of populations consisting of many lines, where each line contains an insert in a single gene. Since the DNA sequence of the insert is known, it is simple to determine which gene has been disrupted by cloning the flanking sequence. There is a set of Arabidopsis lines containing inserts in approximately 80% of the genes and, in rice, a similar proportion are tagged; these lines are freely available ( and Hirochika et al. 2004 ). These tagged lines can be made homozygous and their phenotypes determined to associate a gene with a specific phenotype. The tagged genes can then become candidates for crop improvement either as DNA markers or directly in transgenic breeding.

How has yield increased in agriculture?

In recent years, these two components of yield improvement have become more intimately intertwined with inbuilt genetic traits delivered in the seed being able to replace some management inputs, particularly in pest control. Improvements in management have closed the gap between best farm yield and yield potential of the crop for a range of input regimes. In parallel, the average farm yields have approached best farm yields as a consequence of better extension services, accessible computer decision support tools and increased abilities of farmers to recognize and adopt best industry practice.

Why are seeds skewed?

However, the protein in seeds can have a skewed amino acid composition due to the high abundance of a limited number of individual seed storage proteins. Of the 20 protein amino acids, 10 are classified as ‘essential’ because they cannot be synthesized by animals, and consequently must be obtained from the diet.

Why are seeds important for animal nutrition?

Seeds are major sources of dietary protein for large vegetarian populations around the world and intensively farmed animals. However, the protein in seeds can have a skewed amino acid composition due to the high abundance of a limited number of individual seed storage proteins. Of the 20 protein amino acids, 10 are classified as ‘essential’ because they cannot be synthesized by animals, and consequently must be obtained from the diet. Insufficiency of certain essential amino acids can be a cause of malnutrition in countries that are dependent on a diet of low diversity and can limit the efficiency of animal production. Legume and cereal grains are particularly important for human and animal nutrition, but their seed protein is deficient in the essential amino acids methionine and lysine, respectively ( Tabe & Higgins 1998; Amir & Galili 2003 ). These deficiencies can be offset to some extent by combining the two types of seeds, but animal feeds are still supplemented with synthetic amino acids for optimal nutrition ( Habben & Larkins 1995 ). In developing countries, up to 90% of food intake can be derived from a single crop species, so amino acid balance of individual seeds becomes a critical consideration also for human nutrition.

What is the role of microarrays in anaerobic response?

under anaerobic conditions genes can be chosen with a similar expression response pattern to alcohol dehydrogenase suggesting a similar involvement in the anaerobic response.

How many genes are present in the genome of plants?

The ways in which plants develop and respond to the environment in order to produce an optimal yield of food or fibre is the result of the controlled expression of the approximately 30 000 genes that are present in the genome of all plants. The role of genomics is to define the function of these genes, determine how they are regulated and how their gene products interact. These findings can then be applied to crop improvement.

Does glycaemic index decrease diabetes?

In the case of type 2 diabetes, which is rapidly increasing in both developing and developed countries, medical studies have shown that the consumption of reduced glycaemic index foods can decrease its incidence. Glycaemic index is primarily a property of the starches of our major cereal food plants.

Undisputed applications of genetic engineering

A rejection of genetic engineering in general will always disregard undisputed applications of this technology. First and foremost the biotechnological production of medicines, in 2015 an industry with a $ 133 billion turnover, never even alluded to by the environmental organizations.

Genetic engineering is sustainable

In short, potential justified objections to genetic engineering refer to its applications, rather than to the technology itself. And yet, for a proper valuation of the objections we will have to be just a little bit clearer about the benefits. We can summarize the overriding benefit of the technology in the term precision.


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Why is genetic engineering important?

Thus, a major goal of plant scientists is to find ways to maintain high productivity under stress as well as developing crops with enhanced nutritional value. Genetically-modified (GM) crops can prove to be powerful complements to those produced by conventional methods for meeting the worldwide demand for quality foods. Crops developed by genetic engineering can not only be used to enhance yields and nutritional quality but also for increased tolerance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. Although there have been some expressions of concern about biosafety and health hazards associated with GM crops, there is no reason to hesitate in consuming genetically-engineered food crops that have been thoughtfully developed and carefully tested. Integration of modern biotechnology, with conventional agricultural practices in a sustainable manner, can fulfil the goal of attaining food security for present as well as future generations.

Why is biotechnology important in agriculture?

Agricultural biotechnology is proving to be a powerful complement to conventional methods for meeting worldwide demand for quality food.

What are the markers used in GM crops?

Among the most highly used selectable markers are kanamycin and hygromycin resistance genes.

Is GM food harmful?

No harmful effects have been documented after several years of extensive cultivation of GM crops in diverse environments and consumption of GM foods by more than a billion humans and by a larger number of animals [ 10, 18 ]. However, it is important that the performance of a GM crop is closely scrutinized for several generations under field conditions and that it must go through rigorous bio-safety assessments on a case-by-case basis, before being released for commercial cultivation. Detailed studies should be carried out on various allergenicity and toxicity parameters on laboratory animals. Expressed proteins must be checked for the stability, digestibility, allergenicity and toxicity. Comparative nutritional profiling should be carried out in GM crops.

Is a plant virus a transgene?

The genes derived from plant viruses can also be considered as safe transgenes as these viruses are not known to be human pathogens. Several virus-resistant transgenics harbouring either the coat protein [ 16] or overexpressing siRNAs [ 17] have been developed and released for commercial purposes.

How are GM crops produced?

GM crops produced by introducing genes for improved agronomic performance and/or enhanced nutrition are under commercial cultivation in many countries [ 8 ]. The rigour of the food safety consideration is greatly influenced by the source of the DNA used to develop the GM crop. If the DNA is from an edible plant it will make the regulatory process before commercialisation easier and it will also improve consumer acceptance; as, for example, in our laboratory where the Ama1 gene was isolated from the edible crop Amaranthus and used to develop protein-rich GM potato. It was found to be non-allergenic and safe for consumption using the mouse model [ 6 ]. Similarly, the gene OXDC (Oxalate decarboxylase) isolated from the edible fungi Collybia velutipes was found to be non-toxic and non-allergenic [ 14 ]. When we introduced a single gene encoding C-5 sterol desaturase (FvC5SD) from Collybia velutipes to the tomato, we obtained a crop with multiple beneficial traits, including improved drought tolerance and fungal resistance [ 7, 15 ]. Other strategies include silencing of the host genes instead of addition of a new gene to enhance shelf life of fruits and vegetables [ 3 ]. The genes derived from plant viruses can also be considered as safe transgenes as these viruses are not known to be human pathogens. Several virus-resistant transgenics harbouring either the coat protein [ 16] or overexpressing siRNAs [ 17] have been developed and released for commercial purposes. A well-known example is the GM papaya resistant to papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) [ 16 ]. Presently, about 90% of papaya cultivated in the island of Hawaii is genetically engineered with a coat protein of PRSV. Commercial cultivation of this GM papaya resulted in a considerable increase in papaya production. To date, no conventional or organic method is available to control this rampant virus.

Can GM be used for cross breeding?

Moreover, GM techniques allow introduction of new traits at one time without involving extensive cross-breeding as in the case of classical breeding. From the scientific point of view, foods developed either by conventional breeding or by GM technology can impart the same effects on human health and the environment.

What are some examples of genetically engineered crops?

Although Bt and herbicide-tolera nt crops are by far the largest acreage, genetically engineered crops on the market, other genetically engineered crops have also been commercialized and proven to be effective tools for sustainable agriculture. For example, in the 1950s, the entire papaya production on the Island of Oahu was decimated by papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), a potyvirus with single-stranded RNA. Because there was no way to control PRSV, farmers moved their papaya production to the island of Hawaii where the virus was not yet present. By the 1970s, however, PRSV was discovered in the town of Hilo, just 20 miles away from the papaya growing area where 95% of the state’s papaya was grown. In 1992, PRSV had invaded the papaya orchards and by 1995 the disease was widespread, creating a crisis for Hawaiian papaya farmers.

Is genetically engineered food safe?

There is broad scientific consensus that genetically engineered crops currently on the market are safe to eat. After 14 years of cultivation and a cumulative total of 2 billion acres planted, no adverse health or environmental effects have resulted from commercialization of genetically engineered crops ( Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Committee on Environmental Impacts Associated with Commercialization of Transgenic Plants, National Research Council and Division on Earth and Life Studies 2002 ). Both the U.S. National Research Council and the Joint Research Centre (the European Union’s scientific and technical research laboratory and an integral part of the European Commission) have concluded that there is a comprehensive body of knowledge that adequately addresses the food safety issue of genetically engineered crops ( Committee on Identifying and Assessing Unintended Effects of Genetically Engineered Foods on Human Health and National Research Council 2004; European Commission Joint Research Centre 2008). These and other recent reports conclude that the processes of genetic engineering and conventional breeding are no different in terms of unintended consequences to human health and the environment ( European Commission Directorate – General for Research and Innovation 2010).

How can genetic engineering be beneficial to agriculture?

Genetic engineering can be vital to sustainable agriculture practices by helping reduce damage from pest species.

Why was the soil depleted of nutrients?

The soil was depleted of its nutrients because the farmer did not replenish the land.

What does a group of forest surveyors discover?

A group of forest surveyors discovers a section of a forest that is dying. They check the trees and discover that a strain of disease has caused them to die. Even though the saplings look like they are dying, they discover that the saplings and plants on the ground are not diseased, just malnourished.

What is the definition of integrated pest management?

1. biointense integrated pest management. 2. genetic engineering. 3. sustainable agriculture. 3. uses only the renewable resources and does not damage the land. 1. using living things, like bacteria, to ward off pests. 2. the science that alters the genetic make-up of a living thing.

Can farmers rely on rainfall?

Farmers are not able to rely on rainfall to meet the water needs for their crops.


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