Agricultural Biotechnology: A Solution to Modern Crop Production Issues

The growing demand for genetically modified crops due to their high nutrition content has encouraged the adoption and up-gradation of MAS and molecular breeding solutions, which is likely to influence the agriculture biotechnology market in the approaching years.

Agricultural Biotechnology to Accelerate Natural Selection


Darwin's theory of natural selection argues that every living organisms, such as; micro-organisms, animals, and plants, have the ability to adapt themselves to changing environmental conditions for survival. The agriculture revolution, where humans learned to domesticate and breed plants to settle and grow, was pivotal in the development of civilizations. However, the time consumed in nature's selection is significantly high to measure any decent improvement. Over a few decades, climate change and a dramatic increase in the global population are observed to severely impact the agriculture sector, creating the need to accelerate the process of natural selection.

In the recent landscape, the industrial revolution and rapid advancements in science have availed high-tech solutions, such as biotechnology, to resolve surfacing issues. Agriculture biotechnology aid in designing and customizing crops as per emerging needs. According to Market Research Future (MRFR), a fast-growing market research firm dispatching highly reliable reports, predicts the global agricultural biotechnology market to thrive at 10.10% CAGR in the forecast tenure (2018 to 2022).

Tools and techniques in agriculture biotechnology help in the production of high-quality crops and plants to cater to the growing nutrition requirement of the expanding consumer base. The rigorous practice of modern farming solutions, backed by biotech science, to accelerate the natural selection process for the benefit of mankind is responsible for the growing prominence of agriculture biotechnology. Over past few years, biotech crops farming has been practiced and the trend is expected to continue in the years to come. The growing significance of agriculture biotechnology and increase in funding for agriculture research and development undertakings by reputed key players to improve their product line can add to the market upsurge.

Understanding Need for Agriculture Biotechnology

The study of agricultural biotechnology encompasses the understanding of conventional breeding techniques, microbiology, bioinformatics, plant physiology, molecular genetics, molecular biology, and biochemistry. Biotechnology tools that are used in the agricultural sector include conventional plant breeding, molecular breeding, and marker-assisted selection, tissue culture and micropropagation, molecular diagnostic tools, and genetic engineering and GM crops. Agriculture biotechnology tools modify the genome of plants to improve quality, yield rate, increase resistance to disease, and surge the required nutrient concentration. As the global population is observed to expand at a rapid rate, hunger remains the driving force for the ongoing robust agriculture activities. Governments across the sphere are investing in solutions that are expected to boost the food production capacity. However, lack of arable land is an emerging issue that is laying the groundwork for researchers are trying to alter the genetic pool of plants to maximize the utility from resources that are available. Certain plants are modified to adapt to harsh climate change and thrive in low arable soil, while in other cases, seeds are designed to accelerate its growth for a better yield rate. The alteration in the genetic material of plants to make them resistant to disease can curb agricultural waste, thereby improving the quality of food products. The spreading awareness about agriculture biotechnology tools and its benefits can contribute to it expansion of the agriculture biotechnology market.

Conventional Plant Breeding to Produce Desirable Plant Progeny

Conventional plant breeding allows the development of new varieties of crops through mutation breeding can explain the growing prominence of this technique. Mutation breeding recognizes desirable traits of a plant and incorporates them into their future generations during breeding. Natural breeders often need to travel long distances in search of plants that exhibit desirable traits during which pollen are lost, and the chance of reproduction is low. Thus, with the assistance of biotech solutions, varieties with agronomically-desirable characteristics are produced rapidly. Staple crops, such as; rice, barley, maize, wheat (274), tomato, common bean, soybean, potato, and sugarcane were subjected to conventional plant breeding that resulted in the production of several varieties. However, the conventional plant breeding technology is not able to sustain the increasing demand for food with the expansion of the world population owing to the decline in agricultural resources, such as; water and land that is resulting into the adoption of new crop improvement technologies.

Micro propagation and Tissue Culture to Yield Uniform Offspring's

Plants reproduce sexually with flowers and seeds. These sexual cells, pollen, and egg, contain genetic material as DNA. During sexual reproduction, these parent DNAs combined to create offspring similar to the parents or create unique organisms depending on the type of pollination. When DNA fused are from similar parents, it is called self-pollination, and when fused from different parents, it is called cross-pollination. Some plants and trees require several years to flower and bear fruit, thus delaying reproduction, however, with the assistance of micropropagation and tissue culture. Tissue culture is developed in a special medium and with plant hormones where actively-dividing young cells of the embryo is placed to produce uniform offsprings. It supports germination and aid in the production high quality, disease-free several uniform plants.

Molecular Breeding and Marker-Assisted Selection Gains Traction

The natural process of developing new crop varieties requires around 10 to 25 years depending on the type of crop. However, with molecular breeding and marker-assisted selection of agricultural biotechnology, the time can be slashed to 7-10 years. Scientists mark the required plant traits with marker-assisted selection (MAS) and then DNA with the MAS chromosomes are put together to form the genome of the progeny. The growing demand for genetically modified crops due to their high nutrition content has encouraged the adoption and up-gradation of MAS and molecular breeding solutions, which is likely to influence the agriculture biotechnology market in the approaching years.

Conclusion

Crop biotechnology and its contribution to biomaterials production can improve ecological sustainability. Advances in the understanding of plant biology through novel genetic resources, omics technologies, and genome modification can contribute to the sustainable future of the agriculture industry. Top-notch companies are invested in generating new solutions for novel biomaterials production under altering environmental conditions and genome modification to meet the increase in hunger across the globe. The introduction of disruptive technologies, such as the Internet of Things and Big Data, can contribute to agro-biotech solutions to boost their accuracy and performance efficacy.

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