What are the uses of plant biotechnology

Various uses of plant biotechnology

Applications of plant biotechnology!

The genetic engineering of plants offers the possibility of changing their properties or performance in order to improve their usefulness. Such technology can be used to modify the expression of genes already present in the plants or to introduce new genes from other species with which the plant cannot be bred conventionally. This makes the fulfillment of conventional breeding purposes more efficient.

One of the main uses of such techniques is to add individual genes to the desired plant types. Plant Transformation can be used to introduce new or novel features that create a new market or displace traditional products. The improvement may relate to the nutritional value of the plant or the functional properties in processing or even consumption per se.

Above all, this technology expands the possibilities for the transfer of genes between unrelated organisms and thus creates new genetic information through the targeted modification of cloned genes. Let's dig deeper into the implications of this technology.

Food grade:

Nutritional quality :

Seed cultures play an important role in the nutrition of humans and animals. Few grains make up nearly fifty percent of total food calories. Similarly, seven types of grain legumes make up a large portion of our caloric intake.

However, grains and legumes contain certain proteins that are lacking in amino acids like lysine and threonine. Legumes are also deficient in sulfur amino acids. Some other seed crops, such as rice, offer a better balance of amino acids, but fail in their total protein content.

There follows a general logic that any of these foods could be catapulted to perfection if their deficiencies could be remedied by borrowing these missing characteristics from other cultures. This is exactly what plant biotechnology does - the transfer of one or more genes to plants that lack important components.

Recently, Professor Ingo Potrykus from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich) and Dr. Peter Beyer from the University of Freiburg (Germany) developed the "Golden Rice", which has a higher content of pro-vitamin A or B-carotene.

This modified rice is expected to provide nutritional benefits to people suffering from vitamin A deficiency disorders, including irreversible blindness in hundreds of thousands of children annually. Adequate vitamin A content can also reduce childhood mortality associated with infectious diseases such as diarrhea and measles by increasing the activity of the human immune system.

Genetic tools can be used to modify the carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and vitamin content of foods. Another useful application is taking genes from high-protein grains and transferring them to low-protein foods. A similar experiment was in fact carried out at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, where scientists transferred a gene from amaranth (chaulai) to a potato. The potato saw an increase not only in protein content, but also in size.

Transgenic tools are also used to improve the nutritional value of crops by reducing their anti-nutritional factors (such as protease inhibitors and hemaglutinins in legumes). Problems associated with flatulence in certain foods can also be addressed by manipulating the fiber and oligosaccharide levels.

Biotechnological applications are also extremely useful in wheat. The quality of the wheat is determined by the presence of seed storage proteins in the grain. Therefore, its quality can be improved by manipulating the presence of these proteins. More gluten proteins can also be added to give the dough increased elasticity. Also, the starch content of the wheat can be changed to match the properties of products like pasta.

Functional quality:

The transformation can be applied to fruits and vegetables to improve their taste and texture by manipulating the ripening process. Genetic engineering can also improve the performance of herbal products during their processing. For example, the first genetically modified food, the Flavr Savr tomato, was genetically engineered to slow ripening and has a longer shelf life (Fig. 2).

Another common strategy for controlling ripening is to limit the production of the ripening hormone ethylene. Ethylene is produced from S-adenosylmethionine by conversion to 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) in the presence of ACC synthase, followed by the production of ethylene by an ACC oxidase or an ethylene producing enzyme.

Maturation can be delayed by directing antisense constructs against one of these enzymes or by removing ACC with an ACC deaminase. The fruits can then ripen as needed through the action of an artificial source of ethylene.

Malting and Brewing:

In beer production, barley germinates under controlled conditions. The quality of the beer therefore largely depends on the composition of the barley grain. Many properties of these grains can be significantly improved by genetic engineering. For example, improving the stability of the barley enzymes (especially at high temperatures) can improve their effectiveness at the temperature used during mashing. The taste of the beer can also be changed by genetic treatment of the barley. One such technique is lipoxygenase reduction.

Storage of carbohydrates:

Increasing the levels of certain enzymes such as ADP pyrophosphorylase can improve starch synthesis in food products. This can improve the yields of starchy foods. The transformation can also change the properties of plant starches. The proportion of amylase and amylopectin in the starch and the quality can also be regulated. This would allow the strength to be adjusted to meet the requirements for a specific food or industrial product.

Transgenic plants with increased amounts of fructans (a form of glucose) are already produced from bacteria with a levansucrase. The sucrose content of plants can also be manipulated to improve the quality of sugar crops like sugar cane and sugar beets.

Disease Resistance:

Insect resistance:

Genetic engineering has proven to be a boon for the production of pest-resistant plants. This technology has overcome the disadvantages of using chemical pesticides. Recently, the technique of introducing disease-resistant genes into plant species has also gained tremendous popularity.

For example, protease inhibitors can prevent the digestion of proteins by insects and thus slow their growth rate. The transfer of such proteins to the plants acts as a natural protective mechanism against insect infestation.

Certain bacterial genes have also been shown to be very effective in preventing pest damage. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) produces Bt toxin, which is effective against insect larvae. Transgenic plants harboring Bt genes have been produced in crops such as soybeans, corn and cotton and have been shown to be resistant to pest infestation.

Many other serochemicals (chemicals that change the behavior of insects) are produced by certain species of insects and plants. Transmission to other plants can be very effective in checking for disease occurrence. Another example: the susceptible potato crop does not contain chemicals against feed such as ferns, a terpenoid and other related compounds.

These are produced by aphid-resistant plant species such as Solanum berthaultii (in leaf hairs). These compounds work by creating an attack response in aphids so that they cannot establish themselves in the culture. Transferring these genes to the potato crop can protect them from the threat of aphids.

Virus resistance:

The production of transgenic plants with resistance to viruses is one of the most successful applications of plant transformation. Several strategies relating to the expression of the viral genome in the plant have proven effective. For example, expression of the coat protein gene from the virus has been widely successful. Both sense and antisense expression of parts of the viral genome can protect against viral infection.

Nematode resistance:

New genes for nematode resistance offer an alternative approach to the production of nematode-resistant plants. Genetic engineering offers the possibility of developing transgenic plants with genetic resistance to these long-term plant pests and thus reducing the dependence on chemical nematicides in agriculture.

Herbicide resistance :

Choosing a herbicide is very critical as it carries a high risk of developing resistance. Weeds can quickly develop herbicide resistance in some systems when multiple classes of herbicides act on the same molecular target. Herbicide resistance genes also offer protection here by detoxifying the herbicide (converting it into an inactive form).

Improvement of the photosynthetic efficiency:

The process of photosynthesis is the most important mechanism for supplying plants with energy. However, even the most efficient systems can only use three to four percent of the full sunlight. Biotechnology is now being used to improve the photosynthesis efficiency of RuBPCase (ribulose bis-phosphate carboxylase, which is involved in carbon dioxide fixation).

This increases the efficiency of the catalysis and reduces the competitive oxygenase function (since RuBP-Case also behaves as an oxygenase). Useful variants can also be made by combining the genes encoding large and small subunits of the enzymes of different species.

There are two ways to do this:

Abiotic Stress Tolerance:

The productivity of plants suffers from various stresses in the course of their development. These stressors include temperature, salinity, drought, flooding, UV light, and various infections. While the molecular basis of such reactions is not yet clear, we do know that they involve the re-synthesis of specific proteins (under temperature shock) and enzymes (alcohol dehydrogenase under anaerobiosis and phenylalanine aminolysis under UV radiation).

The abiotic stress-responsive genes have been cloned and sequenced in many laboratories, including the authors who identified and transformed a gene that encodes glyoxalase 1 to confer tolerance on plants.

The regulatory sequences of some genes have also been identified. For example, the 5 'promoter sequence of alcohol dehydrogenase was linked to the CAT reporter gene (chloremphenicol acetyltransferase) and transferred to tobacco protoplasts in which an O 2 -sensitive expression was detected.

Such environmentally inducible promoters will certainly be useful tools for studying gene expression, and this work will lay the foundation for the transfer of stress-responsive genes under regulated promoters to susceptible species. Salinity resistant tomato plants have recently been developed.

Genes from different organisms such as marine resources can be used to improve plants in a number of ways. This is an innovative step in the development of salt-tolerant species by transferring genes from marine plants (halophytes) to grains and vegetables.

Similarly, a gene encoding a protein from a flounder fish has been converted into plants to protect them from frost damage. This protein could be useful in preventing frost damage during post-harvest storage. Hence, freezing could be used to preserve the texture and taste of some fruits and vegetables that are currently unsuitable for freezing.

Development of nitrogen-binding capacity in non-leguminous crops:

While using nitrogenous fertilizers has been shown to be an efficient way to improve crop yields, it remains an expensive proposition. The alternative is to provide a natural source of nitrogen in the plant. This can be achieved by introducing nitrogen-fixing microorganisms.

Such microorganisms are able to fix atmospheric nitrogen in the presence of nitrogen-fixing bacteria Rhizobium. The conversion of the nitrogen fixation genes (Nif genes) from legumes to non-legumes can represent a cost-effective alternative to expensive fertilizers.

However, other ways of improving nitrogen yield in plants can be achieved by increasing the efficiency of the fixation process in symbiotic bacteria, increasing the efficiency of the fixation process in the synthetic bacteria, and modifying the nitrogen fixing bacteria to maintain nitrogen fixation in the presence of exogenous Nitrogen.

Cytoplasmic male sterility :

Much research has been done to explain the mechanism of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS). This trait leads to the production of non-functional pollen in mature plant species such as sorghum, maize and sugar beet, thus facilitating the production of valuable, high-yielding hybrid seeds.

The cytoplasmic male sterility of this plant species is essentially related to the reorganization of mitochondrial DNA and the synthesis of new polypeptides. The rapidly evolving biotechnological tools may potentially enable the transfer of the CMS trait to male fertile lines. Genetically engineered male sterility also offers great potential for the generation of hybrids in agriculture.

Plant development :

The development of a plant is a complex process that includes the role of light receptors such as phytochrome, chloroplast gene expression, mitochondrial gene expression in relation to male sterility, the accumulation of storage products and the development of storage organs (fruits).

It is now possible to clone and sequence different genes that are responsible for plant development. This has increased the possibility of manipulating the expression of these genes and, consequently, the process in which they are involved. For example, early flowering genes have been reported to alter the characteristics of late ripening varieties.

The isolation of specific promoter elements has also helped develop plants that express proteins in specific tissues. Genes that are responsible for color formation can be transferred to plants that have colorless flowers. In addition, by manipulating genes that control flowering and pollen production, transgenic plants with altered fertility can be created. Expression of the leaf and APETALAI genes in Arabidopsis resulted in early flowering.

Similarly, the putative hormone receptors in plants affect the sensitivity of various tissues to growth regulators and their subsequent differentiation and development. The introduction of wild-type or modified genes for specific growth regulators has been shown to be effective in manipulating plant development (e.g. changing the ripening period or the number and size of potato tubers). This approach can be used to modify flower response, fruit development, and expression of storage protein genes.

Useful proteins from plants :

Many plants are now used to make useful proteins. This gave birth to Neutraceuticals - a word coined for made-up food. These foods are also known as functional foods. Neutraceuticals include all of the "designer" foods, from vitamin-fortified breakfast cereals to Benecol, a margarine spread that actually lowers LDL cholesterol. A leading American company, Novartis Consumer Health, estimates the US market for functional foods at around ten billion US dollars, with an expected annual growth rate of ten percent.

Vaccine production from plants :

Plants are a rich source of antigen for the immunization of animals. Transgenic plants can be engineered to make antigenic proteins or other molecules. The production of the antigen in an edible part of the plant could prove to be a simple and effective delivery system for the antigen in an edible part of the plant and could prove to be a simple and effective delivery system for the antigen.

Possible applications of this technology include efficient immunization of humans and animals against diseases and the control of animal pests.For example, antigens for the hepatitis B virus have been successfully expressed in tobacco plants and used to immunize mice. Potato-fed mice expressing the P subunit of E. coli enterotoxin LT-B have also produced antibodies that protect against the bacterial toxin.

This technique promises to pave the way for inexpensive immunization against various human diseases. Oral vaccines against cholera have already been expressed in plants. The production of antigens by plants is not only inexpensive, but can also be mass produced and easily obtained.