Agricultural biotechnology has been used to improve the nutritional content of a variety of crops in an effort to meet the needs of an increasing population. Genetic engineering can produce crops with a higher concentration of vitamins. For example, golden rice contains three genes that allow plants to produce compounds that are converted to vitamin A in the human body.
This nutritionally improved rice is designed to combat the world's leading cause of blindness— vitamin A deficiency. Similarly, the Banana 21 project  has worked to improve the nutrition in bananas to combat micronutrient deficiencies in Uganda. By genetically modifying bananas to contain vitamin A and iron, Banana 21 has helped foster a solution to micronutrient deficiencies through the vessel of a staple food and major starch source in Africa.
Additionally, crops can be engineered to reduce toxicity or to produce varieties with removed allergens. One highly sought after trait is insect resistance. This trait increases a crop's resistance to bugs and allows for a higher yield. These genetically engineered crops can now produce their own Bt Bacillus thuringiensis , which contains toxin-producing proteins that are non-harmful to humans. Bt corn and cotton are now commonplace, and cowpeas, sunflower, soybeans, tomatoes, tobacco, walnut, sugar cane, and rice are all being studied in relation to Bt.
Weeds have proven to be an issue for farmers for thousands of years; they compete for soil nutrients, water, and sunlight and prove deadly to crops. Biotechnology has offered a solution in the form of herbicide tolerance. Chemical herbicides are sprayed directly on plants in order to kill weeds and therefore competition, and herbicide resistant crops have to the opportunity to flourish.
Often, crops are afflicted by disease spread through insects like aphids. Spreading disease among crop plants is incredibly difficult to control and was previously only managed by completely removing the affected crop. The field of agricultural biotechnology offers a solution through genetically engineering virus resistance.
Biotechnology and the Environment:
Developing GE disease-resistant crops now include cassava , maize , and sweet potato. Agricultural biotechnology can also provide a solution for plants in extreme temperature conditions. In order to maximize yield and prevent crop death, genes can be engineered that help to regulate cold and heat tolerance. For example, papaya trees have been genetically modified in order to be more tolerant of hot and cold conditions.
Quality traits include increased nutritional or dietary value, improved food processing and storage, or the elimination of toxins and allergens in crop plants. Currently, only a small number of genetically modified crops are available for purchase and consumption in the United States. The USDA has approved soybeans, corn, canola, sugar beets, papaya, squash, alfalfa, cotton, apples, and potatoes.
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Skip to content Skip to search. Other Authors Benkeblia, Noureddine, editor of compilation. Series Advances in agroecology Advances in agroecology. Subjects Plant biotechnology. Sustainable agriculture. Contents Machine generated contents note: ch.
Biotechnology for Sustainable Agriculture
Introduction 1. Genome Projects and Databases 1. Gene Expression and Coexpressed Gene Databases 1. Gene Ontology Databases 1. Eukaryotic Orthologous Group Database 1. Metabolic Pathways 1. KEGG 1. BioCyc 1. Other Pathway Databases 1.
- Sustainable Agriculture and New Biotechnologies (Advances in Agroecology).
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High-Throughput Sequencing 1. Tiling Array in Arabidopsis 1. Large-Scale Expression Analysis 1. Arabidopsis 1. The Genomes Project 1. TAIR 1. PRIMe 1. Rice 1. RAP-DB 1. KOME 1.
Sustainable Agriculture and New Biotechnologies
Oryzabase 1. Gramene 1. OMAP 1. OryzaExpress 1. Solanaceae 1. Tomato SBM 1. TFGD 1. MiBASE 1. KaFTom 1. PGSC 1. Legumes 1. Brassica 1. Cucurbitaceae 1. The Cucumber Genome Initiative 1. Other Plants 1. Introduction 2. Genomic Approaches to Measuring Genetic Diversity 2. Transcriptomics 2.
Proteomics 2. Metabolomics 2. Conclusions Acknowledgements Reference ch. Introduction Contents note continued: 3. Practicing Sustainable Agriculture 3. The Concept of Sustainable Agriculture 3. Issues and Potential Solutions 3. Natural Variatio 3. What We Have Learned 3. Beyond One Trait 3. Domestication and the Future of Selection 3. A Brief History 3. Trade-Offs and Limitations 3. Intelligent Design 3. Seed Yield 3. Root System 3. The Land Institute 3. Case Studies 3. Intermediate Wheatgrass 3. Perennial Rice 3. Sunflowers Compositae 3.
Other Perennials 3. Ecosystem Services 3. Economic Valuation 3. Implications for Policy 3. Concluding Remarks ch. Introduction 4. QTLs and TFs 4. TFs and the Domestication of Crops 4. Domestication of Maize 4. Domestication of Rice Contents note continued: 4. Flowering Time 4.
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Cold Tolerance 4. Plant Architecture 4. Metabolite Production 4. General Characteristics 4. Major TF Families in Grasses 4. Homeodomain HB Family 4.
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MYB Family 4. TF Databases: Monocot and Dicot 4. AGRIS 4. PlnTFDB 4. PlantTFDB 4. SoyDB 4. DBD 4. TFome Collections 4. Promoters: Indispensable but Elusive 4. Finding Promoters 4. Many Promoters but Few Used 4. Promoter Collections Contents note continued: 4. Tools and Databases for Promoter Analysis 4. Synthetic Promoters 4. Establishing Gene Regulatory Networks 4. Tools for Establishing Gene Regulatory Networks 4. Yeast One-Hybrid Experiments 4. Coexpression Analyses 4. Gene Regulatory Networks 4.
The Complicating Issues of Heterosis and Epigenetics 4. Future Perspectives ch. Introduction 5.
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Study of Animal Transcripts 5. Study of Animal Proteins 5. Study of Animal Metabolites 5. Physiological Performance and Metabolic Efficiency 5. Muscle Development 5. Regulation of Gene Expression by Nutrients Contents note continued: 5. Interactions between Tissues and Organs 5. Limitation of Nitrogen Waste Discharge into the Environment 5. Metabolomics to Help Mycotoxicosis Diagnosis 5. Meat Tenderness Predictors 5. Pre-Slaughter Stress 5. Introduction 6. Sustainable Agriculture 6. Food Production in Sustainable Agricultural System 6. Soil Degradation 6. Cropland and Yield Losses 6.
Water Pollution and Overpumping 6. Overfishing 6. Metabolomics 6. Metabolomics for Biotic and Abiotic Stresses Assessment 6. Metabolomics and Environmental Concerns 6. Ionomics 6. Plant Ionome 6. Heavy Metals and Ionomics Approaches in Phytoremediation 6. Metagenomics 6. What Is Metagenomics?
Metagenomics and Soil Science 6. Shift from Metagenomics to Industry 6. Omics and Soil Science 6. Macronutrients 6. Nitrogen 6. Phosphorus 6. Potassium 6. Sulphur 6. Calcium 6. Magnesium 6. Tibtech 9: — Buxton, D. Shibles, R. Forsberg, B. Blad, K. Asay, G. Paulsen, and R. Wilson, eds. International Crop Science I. Byerlee, D. ISBN: Commandeur, P. Roozendaal, J. Wijk, J. Kamen, R. Pistorius, J. Bijman, P. Smits, G.
Verschuur, and G. Junne, eds. Biotechnology and Development Monitor , No. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam. Crosson, P. What is alternative agriculture? American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 4: 28— Crouch, M. The very structure of scientific research mitigates against developing products to help the environment, the poor and the hungry.
Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 4: — Dahlberg, K. Sustainable agriculture — fad or harbinger? BioScience — Dangl, J. Piece de resistance: novel classes of plant disease resistance genes. Cell — DuPuis, E. Biotechnology and the small farm. Fowler, C. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Fraley, R. Sustaining the food supply. Francis, C. Sustaining agriculture and development: Challenges for the future. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 4: 98— Frederici, B. Insecticidal bacterial proteins identify the midgut epithelium as a source of novel target sites for insect control. Gatehouse, A. Boulter, and H. Potential of plant-derived genes in the genetic manipulation of crops for insect resistance.
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Gatehouse, V. Hilder and D. Boulter, pp. Goldburg, R. Rissler, H. Shand, and C. March, Hamilton, N. Agriculture Without Farmers? February 94—1. Haverkort, B. Differentiating the role of biotechnology. Biotechnology and Development Monitor 3—5. Jackson, W.
Altars of Unhewn Stone: Science and the Earth. San Francisco: North Point Press. Our vision for the agricultural sciences need not include biotechnology. Janick, J. Advances in New Crops. Portland, OR: Timber Press. Keeney, D. Toward a sustainable agriculture: Need for clarification of concepts and terminology. American Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 4: — February