New biotechnologies in crop production


  • Author Lusi Swer
  • Published April 23, 2021
  • Word count 623

Numerous unfavorable factors negatively affect crop yields, which makes one wonder what is the contribution of biotechnology to increasing the efficiency of crop production at the present time? After all, delicate cultivated plants often suffer from:

  • rodents;

  • weeds;

  • nematodes;

  • insect pests;

  • viruses;

  • bacteria;

  • phytopathogenic fungi;

  • adverse weather conditions;

  • soil erosion.

The importance of biotechnology in crop production

Biotechnology in modern crop production can no longer be dispensed with due to population growth and its needs. There are two major areas of biotechnology use in crop production:

  • genetic modification by introducing genes from foreign organisms, which results in genetically modified objects (GMO);

  • appeal to natural reserves - the use of extracts from mushrooms and plants, highly productive microorganisms, etc.

Biotechnology in crop production Science has developed several drugs that can solve various problems from which agricultural producers suffer. By their intended purpose, biological products can be classified into:

  • plant growth regulators;

  • plant protection products;

  • yield-increasing means.

Despite the active promotion of GMO products, economically developed countries are in no hurry to expand their consumption, and prefer the use of biotechnologies (biological methods of exposure), which are used by microorganisms. Although many companies use GMOs around the world, not only in crop production, but also in other areas of activity.

Plant protection methods

Biotechnological methods of protecting agricultural plants from damaging factors are:

  • breeding varieties resistant to unfavorable factors;

  • the use of chemical control agents (herbicides, pesticides, raticides, insecticides, nematicides, fungicides);

  • biological methods of pest control based on the use of their natural parasites and enemies or toxic substances released by living organisms.

Increased plant productivity

This is an equally important task, including:

  • increasing the productivity of culture;

  • increase in its nutritional value;

  • breeding varieties that can grow in swampy or dry areas, on saline soils.

The aim is to increase the energy output of the processes taking place in plant tissues (absorption of light energy, carbon dioxide, water-salt metabolism).

Examples of real advances in biotechnology:

  • Crop biotechnology in Australia, by cultivating cell clones in vitro, has produced eucalyptus trees (red gum trees) that can grow in saline soil. The calculation is based on the fact that the roots of eucalyptus will pump out water from the ground and lower the level of salty groundwater. Due to this, the salinity of the upper soil layers is expected to decrease, and the streams of rainwater will have to displace the salt into deeper layers.

  • An oil palm was grown from a cell clone in Malaysia, which is more resistant to phytopathogens and produces 20-30% more oil.

  • Cell cloning, screening and subsequent plant regeneration from selected clones will be an important technique for improving tree species (eg, conifers) growing in temperate latitudes.

  • Plants grown from the tissues of the merisystem or cells now adorn counters in the form of strawberries, asparagus, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, pineapples, peaches, bananas, etc.

Scientists hope to defeat viral plant diseases by cloning. Methods have been developed that make it possible to obtain plant regenerants from apical buds. Subsequently, culling is carried out among the regenerated specimens - specimens obtained from uninfected cells are selected. For such culling, early detection of the disease is necessary, which is achieved by immunodiagnostics using the method of DNA / RNA probes or monoclonal antibodies. To carry them out, purified preparations of the viruses themselves or their important structural components are needed.

Cell cloning is a very promising mechanism not only for obtaining new varieties, but also for industrial cultivation of products. If the cultivation conditions are properly prepared, for example, to find the optimal proportion of phytohormones, then under these conditions isolated cells will be more productive than the plants themselves. Immobilization of protoplasts or plant cells often causes an increase in their ability to synthesize.

You can read about the most important directions in the development of biotechnology in crop production in the article . In this regard, we recommend using a microbiological complex.

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