Transgenic plants are those genetically modified plants which involves different biological techniques to create new and different characteristics in plants. These plants are called as (GMO) means genetically modified organisms. Engineering of these types of plants in earlier days was impossible, but due to advancement in the scientific fields, now bio-technologists are able to engineer such kinds of plants in their own laboratories.
Transgenic plants have one or more genes which are transferred from another different species, which made them able to possess and unique characteristics as compared to the specie of that plant. The transfer of genes involves different methods like horizontal gene transfer, natural plant breeding and also a new technique called recombinant DNA technique. This technique is become very popular for this purpose.
If we look at the history of transgenic plants then we came to know that first transgenic plant was commercially planted in the year 1995. From then, the trend of planting transgenic plants becomes popular in all most all countries of this world. If we look at the percentage then almost 76% of transgenic plants are grown in developed countries and 24% in developing countries.
Production of Transgenic plants is encouraging all over the world. Earlier, the production of these plants was controlled but today, many countries are cultivating these transgenic plants without any control. Governments and People of different countries shows huge interest in the cultivation of these genetically modified plants due their numerous advantages.
Some of the biggest advantages of transgenic plants are:
- They are used to increase the production of different crops,
- These plants are more resistant to the weeds, pests and diseases,
- These plants are more resistant towards insects and illness,
- You can produced more new varieties of a crop,
- Through genetically modified plants, the usage of different herbicides and pesticides are eliminated, you can use only one herbicide for a transgenic plant. It will cost less to a farmer,
- Fruits from a transgenic crop has delayed maturation time period,
- Transgenic plants are environment friendly as they need less amount of pesticides than a normal plant,
- The qualities of a crop can be improved, like a crop can be designed to produce more minerals, vitamins and other components useful for human health
- Transgenic plants gives the output in less time as compared to a normal crop
- With the help of these GMOs, the characteristics of two or more crops are incorporated into a single crop. It is good in saving time and money.
Mostly, soya bean, maize, cotton and oil seed plants are grown as transgenic crops. Because they are one of the most commercial and demanded crops. Not only these but other food crops like pepper, tomato, potatoes are also cultivated in different countries. Government supports the production of that transgenic crop in the country which is more utilized in the country and which used for export purposes.
All in all, production of transgenic plants is a good step towards production of quality food crops in the world in less period of time.
By Anum Shahbaz