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scope of transgenic crops in sustainable agriculture

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PGS08AGR 4861  
DATE: 24/04/2009  
TIME 12.00 pm


The crop, which has got alien genes into its cells by recombination DNA technology, is called transgenic crop. These crops are used for many purposes, like improve the quality of the agricultural or horticultural products; such as, tolerance to cold, frost or drought, the resistance of plants to insects and diseases, also reduces the need of herbicides and pesticides. This makes the plants safer for the environment. Sustainable agriculture is the successful management of resources for productive agriculture to satisfy changing human needs, while maintaining or enhancing the quality of the environment and conserving natural resources.

Research with the first GR lines, 40-3-2 and its progeny indicated that GR agronomic characteristics and yield were not affected by Glyphosate applications up to twice the labeled rate (1.68kg a.e./ha) (Delannay et al., 1995).
Farmer's participatory field trial was conducted in 33.18ha representing rainfed cotton growing region in Nanded district of the central zone to evaluate the performance of Bt cotton hybrid MECH-162 under integrated pest management and to compare it with conventional cotton hybrids/varieties grown with and without IPM. The results showed that IPM in cotton was most effective with Bt MECH-162 and provided higher return through the initial seed cost to the farmers (Bambawale et al., 2004).
Transgenic tobacco plants expressing Bacillus thuringiensis and CpTI were evaluated for efficacy against artificial infestations of Helicoverpa zea under field conditions. Mortability of H. zea larvae was significantly higher and leaf damage significantly lower for the genotype containing Bacillus thuringiensis gene with compared with non-transgenic control (Hoffman et al., 2002).
CP gene expressing tomato transgenic plants were challenged by TLCV through whiteflies which showed variable degrees of disease resistance/tolerance compared to the untransformed control (Raj et al., 2005).

Deping (1996) introduced LEA gene HVA1of barley to rice. All transgenic lines showed better growth in water deficit condition as compared to the non transformed plants. Transgenic lines can tolerate the salt as high as 200 mM NaCl.

Transgenic high yielding indica rice cultivars (IR64 and BR29) with enhanced level of carotenoid accumulation have been developed. The highest level of total carotenoids obtained in BR29 was 9.34µg/g and β-carotene level alone reached to 3.92µg/g and the highest accumulation of total carotenoids obtained in transgenic progenies of IR64 was 2.32µg/g in polished grains (Datta et al., 2006).
In future, transgenic crops may play the pivotal role for developing country with respect to food and nutritional security. Now this is the alternative available to cope up with the burgeoning population. The GM crops offer both challenges and opportunities for growth and development of mankind. These technologies should be used to complement the traditional methods for enhancing productivity and quality rather than to replace the conventional breeding methods.


Bambawale, O. M., Amerika Singh., Sharma, O. P., Bhosle, B. B., Lavekar, R. C., Dhandapani, A., Kanwar, V., Rathod, K. S. and Pawar, V. M., 2004, Performance of Bt cotton (MECH-162) under Integrated Pest Management in farmers participatory field trial in Nanded district, central India.  Curr. Sci., 86: 1628-1633.
Datta, K., Mayank Rai, Vilas Parkhi, Norman oliva and Swapan, K. Datta, 2006, Improved golden indica rice and post- transgeneration enhancement of metabolic target products of carotenoids (β-carotene) in transgenic cultivars (IR64 & BR29). Curr. Sci., 91: 935-939.
Delannay, X., Bauman, P. T., Buettner, H. D., Coble, M. S. and Padgette, S. R., 1995, Yield evaluation of a glyphosate tolerant soyabean line after treatment with glyphosate. Crop. Sci., 35: 1462-1467.
Deping, X. U., Xiaolanduam and Baiyabng Wang Bimeihang., 1996, Expression of LEA protein gene HAV1 of Barley confirms, Tolerance to water deficit and salt stress in transgenic Rice. Plant Physiol., 110: 249-254.
Hoffmann, P., Frank, G. Zalom., Lloyd T. Wilson., Smilanick, M., John kiser and Wayne, M. Barnes., 2002, Field evaluation of transgenic tobacco containing genes encoding Bacillus thuringiensis δ-endotoxin or cowpea trypsin inhibitor: Efficacy against Helicoverpa zea. J. Econ. Ent., 85: 2516-2522.
Raj S. K., Rachana Singh, Pandey, S. K. and Singh, B. P., 2005, Agrobacterium-mediated tomato transformation and regeneration of transgenic lines expressing Tomato leaf curl virus coat protein gene for resistance against TLCV infection. Curr.Sci., 88: 1674-1678.



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