Applications of biotechnological techniques poised to change world

Biotechnological techniques may include genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, fermentation, and various cell culture methods.

Biotechnological techniques may include genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, fermentation, and various cell culture methods. The field has significantly advanced in recent years, leading to breakthroughs in areas such as personalized medicine, CRISPR gene editing, and synthetic biology. The applications of biotechnological techniques continue to evolve, contributing to advancements in science, medicine, and industry.

In the 1970s, advances in the field of molecular biology provided scientists with the ability to manipulate DNA—the chemical building blocks that specify the characteristics of living organisms—at the molecular level.

This technology is called genetic engineering. It also allows the transfer of DNA between more distantly related organisms than was possible with traditional breeding techniques. Today, this technology has reached a stage where scientists can take one or more specific genes from nearly any organism, including plants, animals, bacteria, or viruses, and introduce those genes into another organism.

An organism that has been transformed using genetic engineering techniques is referred to as a transgenic organism, or a genetically engineered organism.

Similarly, foods derived from transgenic plants have been called “GMO foods,” “GMPs” (genetically modified products), and “biotech foods.” While some refer to foods developed from genetic engineering technology as “biotechnology-enhanced foods,”.

Problem statement:

In traditional biotechnological techniques, plant crosses are made in a relatively uncontrolled manner. The breeder chooses the parents to cross, but at the genetic level, the results are unpredictable. DNA from the parents recombines randomly, and desirable traits such as pest resistance are bundled with undesirable traits such as lower yield or poor quality.

Traditional methods are time-consuming and labor-intensive. A great deal of effort is required to separate undesirable from desirable traits, and this is not always economically practical. For example, plants must be back-crossed again and again over many growing seasons to breed out undesirable characteristics produced by the random mixing of genomes.

Current genetic engineering techniques allow segments of DNA that code genes for a specific characteristic to be selected and individually recombined in the new organism. Once the code of the gene that determines the desirable trait is identified, it can be selected and transferred.

Similarly, genes that code for unwanted traits can be removed. Through this technology, changes in a desirable variety may be achieved more rapidly than with traditional breeding techniques.

The presence of the desired gene controlling the trait can be tested at any stage of growth, such as in small seedlings in a greenhouse tray. The precision and versatility of today’s biotechnology techniques enable improvements in food quality and production to take place more rapidly than when using traditional breeding.

Literature review:

Genetic engineering works by physically removing a desired gene from one organism and introducing it  into another, which gives new  hereditary traits to the  recipient organism encoded by that gene.

There are various legal terms that can be used to elucidate the  technology, including genetic modification, genetic transformation, gene cloning, gene manipulation, and new genetics. The rediscovery of Gregor Mendel’s work had  opened  the  door  to  elucidate  the  principle  of  inheritance and  genetic mapping.

James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA in 1953, which motivated scientists to make developments at the molecular level. However, the discoveries of 1972 (the first recombinant DNA molecules generated) and 1973 (the joining of DNA fragments to plasmids) started started, new era of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The objective of genetic engineering is to produce high-quality and safer crops for human beings and animals.


Increased crop yield:

Genetic Modification for Yield Enhancement: Biotechnological techniques have enabled the development of crops with improved yield potential. Such as enhanced photosynthetic efficiency and increased resistance to environmental stresses, contribute to higher crop yields.

Pest and Disease Resistance:

Genetically Modified (GM) Crops with Built-in Resistance: The creation of crops engineered to express proteins that provide resistance to specific pests and diseases. This has led to reduced crop losses and a decreased need for chemical pesticides.

Enhanced Nutritional Content:

Biofortification: Biotechnological approaches have been employed to increase the nutritional content of crops. For example, crops can be genetically modified to contain higher levels of essential vitamins and minerals, addressing nutritional deficiencies in specific populations.

Improved Tolerance to Environmental Stresses:

Abiotic Stress Tolerance: Biotechnological techniques have played a role in developing crops with enhanced tolerance to environmental stresses, including drought, salinity, and extreme temperatures. This is crucial for maintaining stable crop production in challenging agroecological conditions.

Reduction in Chemical Inputs:

Herbicide-Tolerant Crops: Genetic modification has led to the creation of crops that are tolerant to specific herbicides. This allows for more targeted weed control and reduces the overall reliance on chemical herbicides.


Biological Pest Control: Biotechnology has facilitated the development and use of biopesticides, which are derived from living organisms and offer environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical pesticides.

Disease Management Strategies:

Resistant Varieties: Biotechnological advancements have led to the development of crop varieties with improved resistance to specific diseases, contributing to more effective disease management.

Field survey

Field Observations:

Crop Types: Identify and document the types of crops being cultivated in the area.

Crop Growth Stage: Record the growth stage of the crops (e.g., germination, flowering, harvesting).

Pests and diseases Presence: Observe and note any signs of pests, diseases, or other health issues in crops.

Weed Infestation: Assess the level of weed infestation in the fields.

Environmental Conditions: Record relevant environmental factors, such as temperature, rainfall, and soil moisture.

Farmer Interviews:

Demographics: Collect demographic information from farmers, including age, education, and years of farming experience.

Cropping Practices: Document the farming practices employed, including planting methods, irrigation, and fertilizer use.

Challenges: Interview farmers about challenges they face in crop cultivation, such as pest infestations, climate variability, or access to resources.

Crop Varieties: Inquire about the crop varieties used and their reasons for selection.

Soil Analysis:

Soil Type: Identify and record the predominant soil types in the surveyed area.

Nutrient Levels: Conduct a basic soil nutrient analysis to assess soil fertility.

pH Levels: Measure soil pH to evaluate its impact on crop growth.

Crop health assessment:

Disease Sampling: Collect samples of crops showing signs of disease for further laboratory analysis.

Pest Identification: Identify common pests affecting the crops.

Beneficial Organisms: Assess the presence of beneficial organisms that contribute to pest control.

Data Analysis:

Quantitative Analysis:

Statistical Analysis: Perform statistical analysis on the collected data to identify correlations and trends.

GIS Mapping: Create geographic information system (GIS) maps to visualize spatial patterns in crop development and issues.

Laboratory techniques:

The genetic modification of crops involves various laboratory techniques to manipulate and analyze DNA, tissues, and cells.

  1. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR):

Purpose: Amplifies specific DNA sequences.

Application: Used to confirm the presence of the inserted gene(s) in transformed cells or plants.

2. Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR):

Purpose: Converts RNA into complementary DNA (cDNA) and amplifies specific gene transcripts.

Application: Useful for verifying the expression of the inserted genes in the form of RNA.

3. Gel Electrophoresis:

Purpose: Separates DNA fragments based on size.

Application: Used to visualize and confirm the size of PCR or RT-PCR products and to assess the quality of DNA samples.

4. DNA Sequencing:

Purpose: Determines the exact sequence of nucleotides in a DNA molecule.

Application: Confirms the identity of the inserted gene and verifies its integrity.

5. Plasmid Construction:

Purpose: Assembles recombinant DNA constructs.

Application: Involves techniques such as restriction enzyme digestion, ligation, and bacterial transformation to create vectors carrying the desired gene(s).

6. Agrobacterium-mediated Transformation:

Purpose: Facilitates the transfer of DNA into plant cells using Agrobacterium tumefaciens.

Application: This is a widely used method for inserting genes into plants, especially dicotyledonous species.

7. Particle Bombardment (Gene Gun):

Purpose: Delivers DNA-coated particles into plant cells by physical force.

Application: Used for the transformation of a wide range of plant species, including monocots.