Transgenic Technology for Pest Management
Author: Tehseen Sarwer
Department: Plant Pathology University of Agriculture Faisalabad.
Worldwide transgenic technology added a new era to control pest & become a vital component of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system to protect crops from targeted pests. From Past two decades, transgenic technology developed to generate insect-resistant crop. Transgenic technology produced Transgenic crops which are helpful to reduce yield loss & pesticide utilization. Also, transgenic crops help to conserve soil and water e.g Herbicide Tolerant crops.
Transgenic plants can sequester pollutants and heavy metals from soil or detoxify pollutants & play vital role in phytomediation. Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) insect resistant crop are one of the most successful achievement in transgenic technology ecologically & economically. Bt-crops not only effective for controlling target insect and also helpful for many social, environmental and economic benefits. Bt-crops reduces the chemical insecticides, benefiting human health and increase farm yield.
Commercialization of transgenic Bt-crops:
Transgenic crops are produced through different transformation techniques.
- Direct Gene Transfer System (microinjection of DNA into cultured cell)
- Ti-plasmid System (Vector of Ti & Ri-plasmids of Agrobacterium)
By these methods several major Transgenic Crops produced.
Contribution of transgenic Bt-Crops:
Transgenic Crops contributed many things
- Economic Benefits:
Transgenic crops contributed economic gains at farm level. In addition ,it lowers the input cost on terms of pesticide use and also ease to manage crops.
- Biodiversity Conservation:
Transgenic crops conserving biodiversity by saving initial costs and produce additional food. Reduction in pesticide increase biodiversity within Bt –fields than Non-Bt fields treated with conventional insecticides. Higher biodiversity improved natural control of other pests.
- Pest Reduction:
On regional scale deployment of Bt-crops reduces pest insect population.
- Pesticides Reduction:
Reduces the harmful effect of pesticides on Non-target organisms. Also, reduce the pesticides residues in food and food products. Human health benefits have also been documented.
And, many other contributions of transgenic technology.
- Alleviate Poverty
- Reduction in Natural Enemy
- Decrease in interspecific competition with the target pest
- Species Replacement
- Environmental Safety
Transgenic technology use provides health benefits to live stock & humans by preventing certain insect caused crop diseases that produce carcinogenic compounds and toxic.
Future of Transgenic Technology in Pest Control:
In developed and developing countries transgenic crops clearly increased profitability for farmers. The next generation of insect resistant plants has designed which gives multi-mechanistic resistance in crops. It can be achieved by field evolution of transgenic crops containing insecticidal gene and with agricultural biotechnology.
Bacillius Thuringienesis has a long agricultural history dating back nearly ten decades. Even modern era of genetic engineering, Bt has been one of the successful application in transgenic technology. It has been safe for human consumption, reduces the use of insecticides application, improves crop yield, reduces the amount of management crops require and ensuring their safety.
The ideal transgenic technology should be commercially feasible, environmentally biodegradable and show a wide spectrum of activity against crop pests.
“Protecting our food from pests has been an ongoing battle.”