Transgenic Crops are a genetically
modified organism in which a transfer of genes has happened. This occurs through
DNA recombination technology. Usually, one or more genes from another species
is introduced into the genome by using the recombination technology. For
example, there are different techniques that can be used such as the biolistic
method (Rani et al., 2013). This method you have metal coated with plasmid DNA
that is then shot into the cells of your target. Now, the end product of the
genetic engineering process is often called genetically modified organism or
GMO. Many people are weary of eating or using them. However, there are definite
economic and environmental benefits associated with transgenic crops. The
benefits being: improvement in insect resistance, herbicide resistance, stress
resistance, and industrial products (Mondal, 2016).
resistance is a big part of transgenic crops. One of the parts being, Bacillus
thuringiensis or commonly known as Bt. It is a bacterium that has been known to
kill several varieties of insects. How it works with DNA technology, scientists
are able to locate the gene that produces Bt proteins and place it into the cells.
When the insect eats part of the plant, these proteins call Cry proteins enter
the insect’s gut. The proteins then start to break down, releasing the toxic
part of the protein. The toxic part will proceed to attach to a cell receptor.
Eventually, the cell will end up bursting (Niederhuber et al., 2016). This has
huge economical value to the use of Bt in different crops such as: corn, soybeans,
and cotton. With the use of Bt, crops are less likely to be eaten by insects. Bt crops have also been shown
in studies where they are safe to eat for mammals. The reason being is that the
proteins are very unstable in very acidic conditions (Farias et al., 2015). This increases the overall yield of the crop’s
which means more revenue. The use of Bt crops has lowered the use of synthetic
pesticides that are being used (Hsaio et al., 2017).
resistance commonly goes with transgenic crops and has both economic and
environmental benefits associated with them. Gene technology has made it so
that scientists are able to create plants such as corn that are resistant to
commonly used herbicides such as glyphosate. A common term associated with this
is Roundup Ready crops. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide that will kill
most plants. How it works is that the
glyphosate targets the 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate
enzyme. Also known as EPSPS, which is vital for most plants to survive (Sarangi et al., 2017). There
are a couple ways in which the plants can be tolerant of the pesticide. One way
is to incorporate the glyphosate-tolerant gene into the plant. The other way is
to insert an enzyme that has glyphosate degrading properties.
Now, there has been some concerns
that these herbicide tolerant transgenic plants will end up help create a new
type of super weed due to outcrossing. However, from current research that has been done, it shows that they are just as
likely to be invasive as the non-herbicide transgenic plants (Dale et al., 2002). With weed control, the crop yield
will be higher and there would be fewer sprays needed. This saves on money that
could have been spent on spraying more. Of course, the higher crop yield means
more crops to sell. Also, there is the ability to use a no-till system which
will then benefit the soil and the organisms living in it. Many farmers have
adapted this new way of farming, especially soybean farmers. It has been
estimated they have saved about 234 million gallons of fuel.
many things that can stress out a plant such as: drought, temperatures, and
salinity. Drought seems to have the most significant problem in terms of
agricultural productivity. Water is very important in every part of the crop’s
life. One way helps the crops to better retain water in their system. Usually,
crops are engineered to have an increased level of compatible solutes. By
altering the osmolytes, you can get an increase level of tolerance to different
abiotic stresses (Hussain et al., 2012). Studies have shown that engineering
the proline metabolism has improved tolerance levels for drought and salt
levels. There are different techniques that are being researched for having
tolerant transgenic plants because of the large benefit. This has large
economic and environmental implications. Having tolerant plants, can reduce the
number of limiting factors farmers may experience. If a country has a major
drought, having these crops would help the economy and the environment. The
transgenic plants could potentially help ecologically by reducing the impact
farming can have on soil and organisms.
biotechnology was mainly developed to help improve the agricultural products.
Now, it is also being used to manufacture proteins for both industrial and
medical reasons. The use of transgenic plants for health or industrial reasons
is often called molecular farming. It is the use of plants for the creation of
proteins or other metabolic pathways that has some value in the medical or
industrial field (Wani et al., 2015). A good example of this happened in 1990.
One of the first plant-derived pharmaceutical protein was made. It initially
was created from potato and tobacco plants (Sijmons et al., 1990). However,
since then, a lot of technological advancements have been made. There is now
production of different hormones, antibodies, and recombinant enzymes (Twyman
et al., 2005). This industry is growing rather quickly and is expected to be
worth around $80 billion globally by 2025 (Eisenach, 2015). Transgenic plants are also important in the industrial
aspect as well, especially in terms of biodegradable products.
crops are very beneficial economically and environmentally. The aspects in
which they help with are: improvement in insect resistance, herbicide resistance, stress
resistance, and industrial products. They help with the economy and the environment. Herbicide resistance helps
to reduce the number of weeds, which in return increases the crop yield number.
Economically speaking, it increases the profits due to the increased yield.
With the herbicide resistant crop, farmers are spraying less which is better
for the environment. Insecticide resistant crops are very helpful in that it
also increases crop yield. The insecticides, especially Bt, are environmentally
safe as well. Lastly, having abiotic stress tolerant crops has large
implications for both the environment and the economy. It has the potential to
help drought stricken countries and also increase crop production in certain
areas. This not limited to just agriculture as it has a lot of industrial uses
as well. These applications also helping out the economy and the environment.
An example is creating biodegradable products Transgenic crops are very
important. They can help to improve the quality of life both economically and