Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering basic introduction

Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering basic introduction
Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering basic introduction


Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering basic introduction. The term biotechnology-derived through the fusion of biology with technology. Biotechnology consists of applying the principles of science and engineering to the production of materials by biological agents for the supply of products and services.

Biotechnology is the controlled use of biological agents such as; microorganisms or cellular components for beneficial use.

Types of Biotechnology:

There are two types of biotechnology. Such as;

  1. Old/Traditional biotechnology and
  2. Modern biotechnology.

Old/Traditional Biotechnology:

The processes which are based on the natural capabilities of microorganisms are commonly known as Old/Traditional biotechnology. Beer, Wine, Cheese, vinegar, curd, and many foods have been produced using traditional biotechnology.

Modern Biotechnology:

The process by which a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is developed through recombinant DNA technology is called modern biotechnology.

Areas of Biotechnology:

Some important areas in which biotechnology is making marked contributions are listed below.

  • Human Health
  • Medicine
  • Animal Health
  • Animal husbandry
  • Dairy
  • Chemical and biochemical
  • Food processing and beverages
  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Horticulture and floriculture
  • Environment renewable energy and fuels
  • Fisheries and aquaculture

Branches of Biotechnology:

  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Animal Biotechnology
  • Medical Biotechnology
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Marine Biotechnology and
  • Bioinformatics Biotechnology

Objectives of Plant Biotechnology:

The objectives of plant biotechnology are as follows.

  • Useful biochemical production.
  • Rapid clonal multiplication (adventitious shoot/bulb).
  • Virus elimination.
  • The rapid development of homozygous lines by producing haploids (anther culture, ovary culture, inter-specific hybridization).
  • Recovery of difficulties to produce hybrids (embryo rescue, in-vitro pollination).
  • Germplasm conservation of vegetative reproducing plants.
  • Genetic plant alteration (Somaclonal variation, Somatic hybridization, Genetic enhancement, and Hybridization).
  • Development of genome maps and the use of molecular markers to support the efforts of traditional breeding.

Achievement of Biotechnology:

Achievements of plant biotechnology are as follows.

(a) Achievement in Agriculture

  • Embryo culture
  • Tissue culture
  • Production of somatic hybrids and cybrids
  • Increase biotic & abiotic stress
  • Development of herbicide-resistant crops
  • Increase nitrogen fixation capacity of the plant
  • Development of insect-resistant crops
  • Development of virus-resistant crops
  • Development of other disease-resistant crops
  • Improvement of quality of crops increase the nutrient value of crops

(b) Biotechnology in human health

Production of-

  • Antibodies
  • DNA & RNA
  • Artificial vaccines
  • Rare & highly valuable drugs e.g.; insulin.
  • Technology for gene therapy

(c) Biotechnology in Environment

Bacteria are being utilized for-

  • Detoxification of industrial wastes
  • Treatment of sewage
  • Biogas production
  • Composting

(d) Achievement in Animal

  • Test tube baby
  • Animal clones
  • Development of transgenic animal resistant to the special disease
  • Animal breeding
  • Vaccine production
  • Animal nutrition development
  • Embryo transfer

(e) Biotechnology in medicine

  • Identification of genetic disease
  • Biopharmaceuticals medicine production
  • DNA fingerprinting
  • Skin grafting

Genetic Engineering:

The term genetic engineering is used to describe the process by which the genetic makeup of an organism can be altered using recombinant DNA technology. This involves the use of DNA that contains one or more genes of interest.

Why is there greater genetic engineering than traditional breeding?

  • Genetic Engineering enables one or only a few genes to be directly transferred between species that are closely or distantly related.
  • Compared with traditional breeding, crop enhancement can be accomplished in a shorter period.
  • Genetic engineering makes it possible to alter plants by deleting or shutting off specific genes.


Difference between conventional breeding and genetic engineering

Sl. No. conventional breeding genetic engineering
01 Limited to exchange between the same or very closely related species Allows the direct transfer of one or just a few genes, between either closely or distantly related organisms
02 Takes long time to achieve Crop improvement can be achieved in a shorter time compared to conventional breeding


Undesirable genes can be transferred along with desirable genes Genetic  engineering allows plants to be modified by removing or switching off particular gene




AERI Admin
This is one of the best Agribusiness education and research-based web portal as well as a research firm and Journal Publisher. Feel free to contact us.