Improvement in Yield
Gene technology plays important role in increasing the productivity of food, fibre and vegetable crops ensuring food security which is essential for international peace and stability. Thus it is an important mean to fight hunger.
The transgenes generally are not yield enhancing genes. The increase in yield or productivity is achieved by controlling losses caused by various insects, diseases and abiotic factors. Gene technology is expected to keep pace in food production with increasing would population.
Improvement in Insect and Disease Resistance
In crop plants heavy yield losses are caused every year due to insect and disease attack. Moreover, insecticides and pesticides which are used to control insects and diseases are expensive and have adverse effects on other beneficial organisms (parasites and predators).
Gene technology has played key role in developing insect resistant cultivars in several crops. For example, in cotton bollworm resistant cultivars have been developed by transferring a gene from soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into cotton plants. This leads to saving substantial amount on insecticidal chemicals. Moreover, the technology is environmental friendly.
Improvement in Quality
The quality is adjudged in three ways, viz., nutritional quality, market (keeping) quality and industrial quality. Gene technology has helped in improving all these three types of quality in different crops. For example, gene technology has made it possible to delay the ripening and softening of tomatoes resulting in safe transport and longer storage.
In crop plants, weeds cause heavy yield losses and also adversely affect the quality of produce. The genetic resistance is the cheapest and the best way of solving this problem.
Resistance to Abiotic Stresses
The gene technology can also be used for developing crop cultivars tolerant to environmental or abiotic stresses such as drought, soil salinity, soil acidity, cold, frost etc. Efforts are being made to develop varieties resistant to abiotic stresses using gene technology.
Rapid and Accurate Technique
Gene technology is a rapid and highly accurate method of crop improvement. The development of cultivar by this technique takes 4-5 years against 10-2 years taken by conventional (hybridization) method. Moreover, this is a highly reliable technology.BPCS Notes brings Prelims and Mains programs for BPCS Prelims and BPCS Mains Exam preparation. Various Programs initiated by BPCS Notes are as follows:-
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