A Seminar on, Genetically Modified Crops Its Development & Health Aspects… Presented By, Pinaki Chandra Dey & Rajdeep Paul
“The world will require 50% more food by 2030.” -UK government chief scientist BBC News. March 19, 2009. “The world will have to produce 70% more food by 2050.” -UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
What are Genetically Modified Crops GM Crops are genetically engineered plants cultivated for human consumption using the latest molecular biology techniques to enhance its desired traits. First Commercially Grown GM Crop The Flavr Savr tomato produced by the Californian company Calgene in 1992. The tomato was made more resistant to rotting by adding an antisense gene which interferes with the production of the enzyme polygalacturonase. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavr_Savr
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Mediated Transformation PDS-1000/He Biolistic Transformation System Comparison of Methods of Transformation Agrobacterium Mediated Transformation Development of GM Crops Biolistic Transformation Electroporation Microinjection
Bt Cotton • Bt Cotton is produced by inserting a synthetic version of a gene from the naturally occurring soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, into cotton. • The primary reason this is done is to induce the plant to produce its own Bt toxin to destroy the bollworm(Helicoverpa sp.), a major cotton pest. • The gene causes the production of δ-endotoxin in all parts of the cotton plant throughout its entire life span. When the bollworm ingests any part of the plant, the Bt cotton toxin pierces its small intestine and kills the insect.
Bt Corn • Bt Cotton is produced by inserting a synthetic version of a gene from the naturally occurring soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, into corn or maize. • The primary reason this is done is to induce the plant to produce its own Bt toxin to destroy the European Corn Borer. (Ostrinia nubilalis), a major cotton pest. • This gene codes for a toxin that causes the formation of pores in the larval digestive tract. These pores allow naturally occurring enteric bacteria such as E. coli and Enterobacter to enter the hemocoel where they multiply and cause sepsis.
Bt Brinjal • Bt brinjal is a transgenic brinjal created by inserting a Cry1Ac gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into brinjal. • The Cry1Ac gene gives the brinjal plant resistance against lepidopteron insects like the Brinjal Fruit and Shoot Borer (Leucinodes orbonalis) and Fruit Borer (Helicoverpa armigera). • The gene causes the production of δ-endotoxin in all parts of the plant throughout its entire life span. When the insect ingests any part of the plant, the toxin pierces its small intestine and kills the insect.
Concerns over Bt • The Bt technology cannot directly increase yields • Increased Pest Resistivity • Gene flow to wild relatives • Inability to address complexity of pest attack • The total input cost is higher with no increase in yield • (The cost of a packet of Bt Cotton this season is Rs. 1600 as compared to the non-Bt hybrid that costs between Rs. 380 to Rs 460.) • Regulatory Anarchy
Advantages of GM Crops • More productive and have a larger yield • More nutritional value and better flavor • Eliminate allergy-causing properties in some foods • Inbuilt resistance to pests, weeds and disease • More capable of thriving in regions with poor soil or adverse climates • More environment friendly as they require less herbicides and pesticides • Foods are more resistant and stay ripe for longer so they can be shipped long distances or stored for longer periods • As more GM crops can be grown on relatively small parcels of land, GM crops are an answer to feeding growing world populations. • GM foods are safe. Changing a few genes does not make a crop toxic. • Ecological imbalances? There are many things that human beings have transformed to serve their purpose. Why pick on this?
Disadvantages of GM Crops • Unpredictable outcome • Uncontrolled gene expression • Extinction of food diversity & wild type species of crops • Herbicide-resistant and pesticide-resistant crops could give rise to super-weeds and super-pests • GM crops could cross-pollinate with nearby non-GM plants and create ecological problems & turn into a human health nightmare • Economical effect on Third World farmers who cannot save seeds for replanting and have to buy expensive seeds from the companies every time. • The new technology also interferes with their traditional agricultural ways which may be more suited to their conditions • Business & Marketing ethics. There are many more questions about genetically modified food that can only be answered through time, research and experience.
Health Risks • Pregnant women and babies at great risk • Food designed to produce toxin • GMOs provoke immune reactions • Animals dying in large numbers • Worst finding of all—GMOs remain inside of us • Dangerously few studies, untraceable diseases
Future of GM Crops Conclusion • Help clients understand GM crops industry • Find out influencing factors for GM crops development • Analyze competitive landscape of multinational GM crops producers • Assess market risks and identify business opportunities • Find out GM crop prospect • Improved safety testing, regulations & international policy
Acknowledgement No one should approach the temple of science with the soul of a money changer. ~Sir Thomas Browne Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/ DBT: http://dbtindia.nic.in/ WHO: www.who.int Nature Magazine: www.nature.com GMO Safety: http://www.gmo-safety.eu/ Google Images: http://images.google.co.in/ Food Matters: http://www.foodmatters.tv/ ProQuest: http://www.proquest.com/ Indiatimes: www.indiatimes.com Greenpeace: www.greenpeace.org ‘Plant Biotechnology’ by Slater, Scott & Fowler ISBN: 0199282617 Wish You All a Safe & Better Future! Supervision Dr. Basumita Roychowdhury Thank You