Biotechnology is not applied in the field of medical but also has a significant role in agriculture. The processes and methods of agriculture have been refined by the use of biotechnology to increment the productivity. Biotechnology has also revolutionized research activities in the area of agriculture which includes the following: (i) plant cell, tissue and organ Culture(ii) genetic engineering leading to transformation followed by regeneration of plants to give genetically modified plants carrying desirable, traits like disease resistance …
Biotechnology is not applied in the field of medical but also has a significant role in agriculture. The processes and methods of agriculture have been refined by the use of biotechnology to increment the productivity. Biotechnology has also revolutionized research activities in the area of agriculture which includes the following: (i) plant cell, tissue and organ Culture(ii) genetic engineering leading to transformation followed by regeneration of plants to give genetically modified plants carrying desirable, traits like disease resistance, insect resistance and herbicide resistance; eventually this may also be used for increasing photosynthetic efficiency, nitrogen fixing ability, improved storage proteins, hybrid crops, crops for food processing etc. The development of genetically modified foods and other agricultural biotechnology products has generated significant public debate. The potential for creating foods enhanced for health benefits or increasing crop yields was tantalizing, but there was also widespread concern about the technology’s health and environmental risks. The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology spotlighted policy issues arising from these discussions and served as a credible, honest broker, bringing together people with differing viewpoints to examine the opportunities and challenges of agricultural biotechnology.
Green biotechnology is biotechnology applied to agricultural processes. An example would be the selection and domestication of plants via micropropagation. Another example is the designing of transgenic plants to grow under specific environments in the presence (or absence) of chemicals. One hope is that green biotechnology might produce more environmentally friendly solutions than traditional industrial agriculture. An example of this is the engineering of a plant to express a pesticide, thereby ending the need of external application of pesticides. An example of this would be Bt corn. Whether or not green biotechnology products such as this are ultimately more environmentally friendly is a topic of considerable debate.
Ornamental plants are grown as flowering plants in the gardens or as houseplants. Their most common features are flowers and others are leaves, bark, stem, and fruits of different color, size and fragrance. These are used for decoration of office, garden, house, roadside or any thing and place due to their decorative purposes and keep the people close to nature. Flowers of some ornamental plants are also used for extraction of valuable essential oils. Due to these reasons demand of ornamental plants is increasing with the passage of time and plant breeder are trying to produce new varieties of different attractive colors, more fragrance, longer vase life and resistance against pests and diseases but it is a very tedious process and takes many years to produce genetic modification.
Genetic engineering in combination with plant tissue culture is an efficient way of producing genetic modification in ornamental plants through alteration in genetic material by artificial means and is different from the traditional breeding because it does not need selection and pollination in the field, which takes many years to produce genetic modification with very little success. In this technique desired genes is isolated from a plant and transferred in the plant to produce desired characters. There are two methods of gene transfer first is vector mediated transfer and second is direct gene transfer. In vector-mediated method of transformation a vector Agrobacterium is used, which a soil bacterium is causing outgrowths (galls) on the plants. This bacterium transferred the genes in the root cells of the plants to produce gall. Due to this ability it is used as vector. The gene of interest is isolated and transferred in the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) of Agrobacterium, which infect the desired plant cell and transferred the desired gene in the plant cell. In the direct transfer method desired genes are transferred in the plant with out the use of vector. It has different methods like electroporation of protoplast, in this method pores are made in the protoplast membrane and through these pores plasmid DNA transferred in the protoplast, which is used to regenerate the plants. Microinjection, in this foreign DNA is transferred in the nucleus of protoplast by injection pipette of 0.2 mm diameter and protoplast is cultured to produce plants. Laser microbeam, in this UV-laser microbeams are used to produce pores in the membranes and DNA from the solution is entered in the cell through these pores. Electroporation into embryos, DNA is delivered in the embryos by electroporation. Particle bombardment, this is most desired used method of transferred because it can deliver DNA in cells, tissue or organs. In this method DNA particles are coated with gold or tungston and transferred by a gene gun, which accelerate particles to penetrate into the tissue.
Plant tissue culture also has very important role in the production of genetically modified plants because after the transferred cell or tissue are need to regenerate into new plant and production of more plants from that genetically modified plant. There are different direct and indirect regeneration techniques of plant tissue culture. In direct techniques direct shoots and roots are developed from the explants e.g. meristem culture, in which meristem is used to shoot and roots. Nodal culture, in this node is used to produce plants. In indirect methods first callus and then from callus shoots and roots are developed e.g. leaf, ovule, anther, petal and cell culture. After gene transfer in the cells or tissue of desired, callus is produced from these transformed cell which further form somatic embryos then shoot and roots. From this single plant many plants produced by mass propagation through plant tissue culture techniques.
Flower color is most important and attractive trait of ornamental plants. People want variation in flower color of different ornamental plants. To fulfill the growing need of different colored ornamental plants, genetic engineering is playing is role and successfully genetic modifications have been in many ornamental plants like rose, gerbera, petunia, chrysanthemum, carnation, torenia and lisianthus by inducing changes in anthocyanin (a class of flavonoids produces pink, red, violet and blue color in flowers) and Carotenoids (a class of isoprenoids produces yellow, orange and red color in flowers). Flower fragrance is also a very important trait to increase the value of ornamental plants. Fragrance of flowers is due to volatile compounds, which are secondary metabolites such as terpenoids, phenylpropanoids and derivatives of fatty acids. Few genes have been identified which directly involved in production of fragrance in the flowers of ornamental plants. As linalool synthase (lis) gene responsible for the production of fragrance was introduced in petunia and carnation but it does not produce olfactorally detectable changes in the fragrance of these flowers. Vase life is also desirable character of ornamental plants. Work has been done on genetic modification of many ornamental plants to increase their vase life like carnation, petunia and carnation etc. Insects and diseases cause major losses to ornamental plants. Different fungal, bacterial and viral pathogens attacked on the ornamental plants and in response to their attack chitinases and glucanases are produced in the plants. So the over production of chitinases and glucanases by genetic modification can produce resistance in the plants. More resistance has produced in against fungus in petunia and against blackspot in roses by genetic modification. From more than 30 years cry gene of Bacillus thuringiensis has been using for creating resistance in plants.
There is a great need of genetic modification in ornamental plants in our country to fulfill the growing needs and to earn a lot of by their export. It is a need of day to expand the work on genetic modification because we invest a lot of to import ornamental plants. Now work has been started to developed protocols for invitro regeneration of different ornamental plants (rose, gladiolus, carnation etc) in plant tissue culture, which is a step in this response. For this our government should develop more high quality lab. and private sector should also involved in this work, more short courses should arranged to produce skilled labour.