A Review Green biotechnology - a help to the environment

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About Authors:
Kiran K.Vaghasiya*, Alpesh J.Shiroya
Bhagwan Mahavir College Of  Biotechnology ,

Green biotechnologydeals with the use of environmentally-friendly solutions as an alternative to traditional agriculture, horticulture, and animal breeding processes. An example is the designing of transgenic plants that are modified for improved flavor, for increased resistance to pests and diseases, or for enhanced growth in adverse weather conditions. Genetically enhanced crops are one tool that could contribute to a more harmonious balance between food production and our surrounding environment.  The overall message is that biotech plants can, and already do, contribute positively to reducing CO2 emissions and anticipating the impact of climate change on food scarcity. This will increase as they are more widely adopted. This document aims to provide background information about the role green biotech currently plays, and can play in future, in helping to combat climate change.

Reference Id: PHARMATUTOR-ART-1461

Biotechnology is any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.[1] Today, the known applications for biotechnology can be seen as a spectrum.

White biotechnology is applied to industrial processes. An important example is bioremediation by microbes where microbes are utilized to clean up toxic or hazardous industrial wastes in the environments, such as PCBs. A second example is the use of microbes to produce products for industrial use, such as the subtilisin enzymes now widely used in laundry detergents.

Blue Biotechnology is aquatic use of biological technology.

Red biotechnology refers to medical applications of biotechnology, such as antibiotics and pharmaceuticals that are based on recombinant DNA technology.

Multicolored Biotechnology
Biotechnology is often interdisciplinary, and so many applications may be classified in more than one color category. For example, production of biodiesel fuel from agricultural or waste materials could be considered to be both white and green, or white and blue, biotechnology.

Green biotechnology refers to biological techniques to plants with the aim of improving the nutritional quality, quantity and production economics. such as production of disease-resistant or UV-resistant plants, or plants that have superior qualities, by means of genetic modification. Other examples include production of biofuels, such as ethanol or methane, from crops such as corn, or even from marine algae grown at land-based production facilities.

In 1996, the first genetically modified crops were cultivated in the USA. In 2009, 14 million farmers in 25 countries used GM crops, the overwhelming majority of whom (13 million) were small-scale farmers in developing and emerging countries. The annual global acreage has increased to more than 134 million hectares worldwide[2], Green biotechnology pays off economically. This can be seen in the rising number of farmers who opt for GM crops. GM seed tends to be more expensive – but in return, it reduces expenses in other areas, such as the cost of pesticides, machines and labor. But above all: yields generally increase considerably, because plants' own mechanisms protect them from harmful insects and more effective weed management reduces harvest losses which used to be considered inevitable. In 2010, after long political delay, another GM crop was  approved for cultivation   for the first time since 1998: the Amflora potato, with a modified starch composition exclusively processed in the starch industry.[3]

Green biotechnology involves the use of environmentally friendly solutions as an alternative to traditional industrial agriculture, horticulture and animal breeding processes.

  • use of bacteria to facilitate the growth of plants
  • development of pest-resistant grains
  • engineering of plants to express pesticides
  • use of bacteria to assure better crop yields instead of pesticides and herbicides
  • production of superior plants by stimulating the early development of their root systems
  • use of plants to remove heavy metals such as lead, nickel, or silver, which can then be extracted ("mined") from the plants
  • genetic manipulation to allow plant strains to be frost-resistant
  • use of genes from soil bacteria to genetically alter plants to promote tolerance to fungal pathogens
  • use of bacteria to get plants to grow faster, resist frost and ripen earlier.

Green revolution
Worldwide agricultural productivity has benefited from two green revolutions that have brought crop varieties, allowing higher yields and able to tolerate stress and resist pests and diseases.[4]

The first green revolution
The first green revolution—from the early 1960s to 1975—introduced new varieties ofwheat, rice, and maize that doubled or tripled yields. The new varieties were highly susceptible to pest infestation and thus required extensive chemical spraying. But they were also responsive to high rates of fertilizer application under irrigation. But they were also responsive to high rates of fertilizer application under irrigation. So, large- and medium-scale farmers in regions with adequate irrigation facilities, easy access to credit, sufficient ability to undertake risks, and good market integration adopted the new varieties[5]But these requirements meant that the new technology bypassed most poor African farmers[6] [7]

The second green revolution
The second green revolution—from 1975 to the 1990s—sought to consolidate lessons from the first by developing crops with a wider range of traits desirable for less well endowed areas and smallholder farmers. These traits included tolerance to stress and resistance to pests and diseases.

The third green revolution
The third green revolution is the biotechnology or gene revolution. Biotechnology offers possibilities for further amplifying the achievements of the first and second green revolutions.  Four areas in which biotechnology is likely to have significant impact .[8]

• Improving genome management (through use of molecular markers for quantitative trait improvement, introgression of new germ plasm into breeding lines, genetic diversity analysis, and parental selection).
• Enhancing genetic analysis (through introduction of new genes, directed mutagenesis, optimization of gene expression, and gene discovery).
• Quickening the pace of conventional plant research (through new biotechnological Techniques —conventional breeders must rely on phenotypic evaluation, which does not always accurately indicate the information present in a plant’s genome).
• Improving agricultural yields.

Green Biotechnology – introduction in three waves [9]
Green biotechnology covers the whole spectrum from more advantageous and simplified cultivation (input-traits), through improved quality of the plants for animal feed or food purposes (output-traits) down to production and the extraction of new, non-plant contents (molecular pharming).

The goals of breeding genetically modified plants correspond to those of conventional plant breeding: on the one hand quantitative (increase in yield) and qualitative improvements (taste, colour of the blooms, shelf-life, raw materials), and, on the other hand, an improvement in resistance against biotic (fungi, pests, viruses, bacteria, nematode worms) and a-biotic stress factors (cold, heat, wet, drought, salt content). In addition, the plant can also be used as a “bioreactor” to produce enzymes, antibodies, recombinant proteins or pharmaceutical active ingredients (molecular pharming).

1 input traits:
The expression “input-traits” refers to characteristics, which lead to an improvement in the properties of a crop from a farming point of view.

Generally, this involves resistance genes, which are introduced into a crop with the use of genetic engineering methods. These resistance genes allow tolerance to herbicides or protect from fungi, pests certain insect, disease and other harmful organisms.

Genetic modification means that resistance against specific harmful products has now been built in to crops such as maize, rape, soya and cotton.


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