New Technologies and Innovations in Crop Production

Topics: Agriculture, Agronomy, Soil Pages: 7 (2207 words) Published: December 26, 2011
New technologies and Innovations in crop production
Crop production is a complex business, requiring many skills (such as biology, agronomy, mechanics, and marketing) and covering a variety of operations throughout the year. It starts from soil preparation to harvesting and storage of the produce. There are many new innovations in crop production during the recent years due to technological advancements. Genetically Modified Crops

GMCs are produced in labs by altering their genetic makeup by adding one or more genes in their genome from different species through genetic engineering techniques. Biotechnology play s a great role in agriculture particularly crop improvement. It has substantially increased crop yields and is also the hope for future food security. Transgenic hybrids and varieties have been developed in many crops like maize, cotton, soybean, potato, tomato and papaya etc, and these are also commercially grown. GM crops are grown in almost 25 countries, mainly in USA, Canada, China, Brazil and India. Currently almost 135 million hectares of land are under cultivation of GM crops. There are enormous advantages of GM crops mainly * Resistant to diseases, insect, pests and abiotic stresses * More nutritious crop varieties

* Less fertilizer requirement
* Less pesticide use
* Pesticide resistant
* Increased yields
* Biofertilizers
* Phytoremidation
But there are also some potential risks associated with GM crops like * They may affect the biodiversity and ecosystem
* They may reduce the effectiveness of pesticides
* They may cause health problems like allergy
* They may transfer the genes to non target species like weeds Plant Tissue Culture
Tissue culture, also known as micropropagation, is a propagation method used to produce plants under sterile conditions. This method uses explants (plant parts) or seeds that have been sterilized before being placed in containers with a growing medium (usually a gel) that has some nutrients added. The explants or seeds, the containers and the medium have all been sterilized, and this (if successful) prevents any cut or torn tissue, or the entire explant or seed itself, from becoming infected with a microorganism of some kind and rotting during the time these plant parts require to become rooted or to multiply. Many types of seeds germinated in these conditions tend to grow very fast compared to being sowed in standard growing media outside of sterile, enclosed containers. Using plant tissue, it is possible to grow exact copies of the donor plant. This is extremely useful for plants that genetically have desirable traits because one can create many clones of a particular plant much faster than traditional propagation methods like cuttings, pullings or divisions. The sterile nutrient media usually contains a nutrient solution (typically salts and vitamins), sucrose (sugar), hormones (optional), antibiotics (optional), and a solidifying or gelling agent such as agar (a product of seaweed). Four stages of plant tissue culture have been defined by tissue culture experts. * Stage I. Establishment of an aseptic (sterile) culture. * Stage II. The multiplication of propagules (a propagule is any part of a plant used to make or become new plants). * Stage III. Preparation of propagules for successful transfer to soil (rooting and "hardening" (acclimating) outside of sterile conditions in regular growing media). * Stage IV. Establishment in soil (or other appropriate growing medium) Plant tissue culture is used widely in plant science; it also has a number of commercial applications. Applications include: * Micropropagation is widely used in forestry and in floriculture. Micropropagation can also be used to conserve rare or endangered plant species. * A plant breeder may use tissue culture to screen cells rather than plants for advantageous characters, e.g. herbicide resistance/tolerance. * Large-scale growth of plant...
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