Precisely biotechnology can be said to be a complex and challenging undertaking. Therefore, a complete range exists not only from very general to very limited definitions. The use of a broad variety of scientific technologies for modified and improved plants, animals and microbes of economic significance is often referred to in biotechnology.The area of biotechnology with applications to agriculture is agricultural biotechnology. Traditional biotechnology has been in the widest sense used to enhance plants, animals and micro-organisms for thousands of years, since the emergence of first agricultural activities.
Thus, animal husbandry on its own is a biotechnology since the final goal is to develop animal germplasm to create new generations of animals who are superior to those of today’s animals for animal husbandry.
The area of biotechnology with applications to agriculture is agricultural biotechnology. Traditional biotechnology has been in the widest sense used to enhance plants, animals and micro-organisms for thousands of years, since the emergence of first agricultural activities.
Biotechnology and Agriculture
Biotechnology has been traditionally applied to agriculturally relevant crop species via selective breeding to create the exchange of genetic material between two parent plants in order to develop offspring with desirable qualities such as higher yields, disease resistance and enhanced product quality. The exchange of genetic material by traditional breeding needs the crossing of the two plants (race) of the same or closely connected species. Such active plant breeding has led to the growth of higher plant kinds quicker than in the wild due to the random breeding.The typical method of gene exchange is limited to crossings between the same and closely related species, however, and can take considerable time in order to obtain desired results. Modern biotechnology dramatically increases the accuracy and time that these changes in plant features may be produced and significantly increases the possible sources of desirability.
Why is biotechnology being used in agriculture?
New advancements in agricultural biotechnology are being applied to boost crop yield, especially by reducing production costs by reducing input requirements for pesticides, mostly in crops cultivated in temperate regions. By developing new crops strains, making higher yields with lower inputs, growing in a broader range of environments, improved rotations to conserve natural resources, supplying more nourishing harvested products, which sustain much longer storage and transportation and maintaining low-cost food supplies for consumers, agricultural biotechnologies can increase their living quality.
Other developments in biotechnology are anticipated to produce crops that have a larger range of characteristics, some of which are more directed to consumers by, for example, having characteristics that provide better nutritional quality. Cultivations with improved output features could give millions of people suffering from malnourishment and ailments nutritionally beneficial.
Biotechnology and Animal breeding
The extensive usage in animal husbandry of certain biotechnologies has occurred (Van Vleck 1981) and will have a large impact upon genetic advancement. In terms of animal breeding and the ensuing genetic advancement in three primary areas, different types of biotechnology can affect:
- Biotechnology and therefore selecting programmes: artificial insemination, transfer of embryos, sexing, cloning, and other related methods might influence reproductive efficiency (e.g., Ruane and Thompson, 1991; van Vleck, 1981).
- The identification of animal genetic qualities can be improved by biotechnology: genetic markers, candidate genes and associated techniques (e.g., Georges etal.,1995; Renavilleetal., 1997).
- At genetic engineering, gene transfer and similar procedures, biotech can modify the genome artificially in the fields of DNA (e.g., Solter, 1981).
The aim of this study was to examine the importance of the latest and expected future animal breeding and genetic development biotechnologies.
Efficiency of reproduction getting affected by biotechnology
In order to propagate superior germ plasma, genetic improvements are strongly dependent on reproductive efficiency. Early biotechnologies concentrated on enhancing this biological function extremely aggressively. In fact, there was relatively low reproductive capability in many economically significant animal species.
- Artificial Insemination in Males: The first large-scale reproductive biotechnology is artificial insemination (AI). From their initial commercial days in the 1930’s AI, females in bovine, porcine and related species have become an exceedingly prevalent way.AI works in various ways on genetic advancement. First AI enables the selection intensity to be significantly increased. The number of bulls necessary for the cattle is lowered considerably.A surprise side consequence of this seems to be that in most species undergoing significant selection owing to AI, genetic variations have not yet decreased. A significant increase in the genetic advancement documented in formula and in dairy cattle was a direct consequence of all these facts.
Some side effects may however appear undesirable. The excessive usage of the best male inbreeding and the loss of genetic variation has led to significant growth.
- Reproduction in Females: Multiple ovulation (MO) and embryo transmission (ET) is a process comparable to AI which impacts female reproductive capabilities. Therefore, MOET is a biotechnology which makes multiparous species like cattle, enabling best cows to have more than the natural number of offspring.
The number of full-sib families increases by applying MOET procedures. In order to achieve more exact breeding value it is therefore more crucial to add dominance effects. The precision of reproductive values is significant since MOET technically manufactured animals are typically utilized as top-level reproducers.
In vitro fertilisation (IVF) and ova pick-up are two more MOET modem upgrades (OPU). The role of IVF in human reproductive biotechnologies for example does not play in cattle. However, it may help to make embryos of certain women who are not properly reacting to OM or who are generally bad health. Its genetic improvement implications are minimal. However, OPU can significantly reduce the generation interval, since it gives a technique of selecting very young animals.
In the animal breeding, certified nucleus herds were not successful, in spite of a lot of extremely positive simulations, closed and therefore entirely separated from the entire population. The majority of breeding firms seem to have closed nucleus programmes in swine and poultry. However, one could argue that in fact these schemes are typically not completely closed, but open to external superior livestock introduction.
Contributed by:– Nidhi Jha, Legal intern at LLL