The following points highlight the eight main advantages of transgenic plant. The advantages are: 1. Improvement in Yield 2. Improvement in Insect and Disease Resistance 3. Improvement in Quality 4. Herbicide Resistance 5. Resistance to Abiotic Stresses 6. Industrial Products 7. Rapid and Accurate Technique 8. No Barrier for Gene Transfer.
Advantages of Transgenic Plant:
- Improvement in Yield
- Improvement in Insect and Disease Resistance
- Improvement in Quality
- Herbicide Resistance
- Resistance to Abiotic Stresses
- Industrial Products
- Rapid and Accurate Technique
- No Barrier for Gene Transfer
Transgenic Plant: Advantage # 1.
Improvement in Yield:
Gene technology plays important role in increasing the productivity of food, fibre and vegetable crops ensuring food security which is essential for international peace and stability. Thus it is an important mean to fight hunger.
The transgenes generally are not yield enhancing genes. The increase in yield or productivity is achieved by controlling losses caused by various insects, diseases and abiotic factors. Gene technology is expected to keep pace in food production with increasing would population.
Transgenic Plant: Advantage # 2.
Improvement in Insect and Disease Resistance:
In crop plants heavy yield losses are caused every year due to insect and disease attack. Moreover, insecticides and pesticides which are used to control insects and diseases are expensive and have adverse effects on other beneficial organisms (parasites and predators).
Gene technology has played key role in developing insect resistant cultivars in several crops. For example, in cotton bollworm resistant cultivars have been developed by transferring a gene from soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into cotton plants. This leads to saving substantial amount on insecticidal chemicals. Moreover, the technology is environmental friendly.
Transgenic Plant: Advantage # 3.
Improvement in Quality:
The quality is adjudged in three ways, viz., nutritional quality, market (keeping) quality and industrial quality. Gene technology has helped in improving all these three types of quality in different crops. For example, gene technology has made it possible to delay the ripening and softening of tomatoes resulting in safe transport and longer storage.
This has been achieved by manipulating the genes that encode the enzymes responsible for ripening (ethylene forming enzymes EFE) and softening (polygalactonase). Other quality improvements include non-browning potato, starch composition of wheat flour and improved oil content in oilseed crops. Many such examples can be citied.
Transgenic Plant: Advantage # 4.
In crop plants, weeds cause heavy yield losses and also adversely affect the quality of produce. The genetic resistance is the cheapest and the best way of solving this problem.
Gene technology has been used to develop herbicide resistant cultivars in cotton, maize, wheat, tobacco, potato, tomato, rapeseed, soybean, flax etc. In these crops, cultivars resistant to glyphosate, gluphosinate and some other herbicides have been developed.
Transgenic Plant: Advantage # 5.
Resistance to Abiotic Stresses:
The gene technology can also be used for developing crop cultivars tolerant to environmental or abiotic stresses such as drought, soil salinity, soil acidity, cold, frost etc. Efforts are being made to develop varieties resistant to abiotic stresses using gene technology.
Transgenic Plant: Advantage # 6.
Gene technology has great potential for the production of biodegradable plastics, obtaining therapeutic proteins, pharmaceuticals and edible vaccines from transgenic plants. It may also help in producing biodiesel or petroleum products.
Transgenic Plant: Advantage # 7.
Rapid and Accurate Technique:
Gene technology is a rapid and highly accurate method of crop improvement. The development of cultivar by this technique takes 4-5 years against 10-2 years taken by conventional (hybridization) method. Moreover, this is a highly reliable technology.
Transgenic Plant: Advantage # 8.
No Barrier for Gene Transfer:
Gene technology permits gene transfer between any two individuals whether related or unrelated, The gene of interest can be transferred from micro-organisms to higher plants and even from animals to plants. Thus it overcomes barriers of gene transfer.