Treating Allergies – How and With What?
Green biotechnology or plant technology is a branch of biotechnology which is growing very rapidly.
It works at improving economically important crops as also producing new plant products. This is done
by introducing foreign genes into the plant species.
Green biotechnology also helps in the production of bio fuels, bio fertilizers and bio pesticides,
which are environment friendly and cheaper than the chemical fertilizers that pollute the soil and harm
the plants. They also help to improve the crop output, health as also safety standards. This technology
has turned out to be a great boon to farmers.
The most important areas of research and application in the field of green technology include plant tissue
culture, genetic engineering in plants, plant molecular marker assisted breeding, bio fertilizers and bio
pesticides as also hybridization.
- Plant tissue culture: According to the green biotechnology used in plant tissue culture, a new plant
is grown using minute quantities of the different parts of the plant like the roots, stem and leaves or
at times even a single cell is made use of to grow a new plant. All these procedures are carried out in
the laboratory. Plant tissue culture enables the quick production of clean planting materials and this
is its greatest advantage. Some of the plants that have been grown in Kenya, utilizing the plant tissue
technology are Irish potato, banana and cassava to mention just a few examples.
- Plant genetic engineering: In this case technology is utilized to deliberately select and transfer a
beneficial gene from one plant to another so that a new and improved plant can be created. Genetically
engineered crops include cotton, maize, sweet potato and soybeans to mention just a few.
- Plant molecular marker assisted breeding: Molecular markers are utilized to select a particular trait
in the plant. For example, a farmer might be interested in cultivating maize which is resistant to the
maize streak virus. So here green biotechnology would help to use a molecular marker which is nothing but
a short DNA sequence which is closely linked to that particular desirable gene which in turn helps to grow
the crop with the desired trait.
- Bio- fertilizers and bio pesticides: Green biotechnology is also involved in the production of bio-
fertilizers and bio- pesticides. Nowadays, most farmers are turning to these products so that they can get
a better yield on the one hand as well as avoid harmful chemical fertilizers which are not only detrimental
to the soil and plants but also pollute the environment.
- Hybridization: Yet another aspect of green biotechnology, plant scientists exploit the fact that some
offspring from a cross of two parent plants turn out to be much better than the parent plants themselves.
This fact is known as hybrid vigor in a layman’s term while scientists refer to it as hetrosis. With the
help of green technology a number of hybrid species of various crops are grown the world over.
Green biotechnology is of great help in preserving the environment. The genetically enhanced crops bring
greater harmony in the balance between food production and the environment. As these crops are disease
resistant, they give the farmer a better yield as well.