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Biotechnological Improvements in Wheat - Key Challenges and Hopes

BY: Syed Amir Manzoor | Category: Agriculture | Submitted: 2011-11-14 19:21:01
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Article Summary: "Role of Biotechnology in wheat crop - The article focuses on the need, challenges and key advancements regarding the the biotechnological improvements in Wheat crop..."


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Need of Biotechnological Improvements In Wheat
As a matter of fact, the human population explosion on the planet Earth has lead the whole world to some very challenging and odd circumstances. It would be interesting to know that according to a careful estimate; today, almost nine hundred to one thousand births are taking place in every 5 minutes. Therefore, the social scientists and experts are predicting that if this rate of multiplication continues, the human population would probably get doubles by 2012 which would mean a population of about 12 billion human beings on the surface of the Earth. Rationally speaking, even today, with 6 billion human beings on Earth, we are not able to adequately feed all, then how would this gigantic figure of population be fed if it got doubled in less than 40 years from now? The answer lies in one simple word and that is Biotechnological methodologies. It goes without saying that today, in this technologically advanced world; we are only able to increase the yield of one of the most required food, Wheat, through biotechnological improvements and applications.

Generally speaking, before talking about biotechnological improvements in wheat, it would be worth mentioning that biotechnological experts employee the techniques of molecular genetics through which they determine the significant differences in the genetic material, or simply, the difference between the deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA) of two different plant species. Once an adequate knowledge regarding the genetic material of a particular plant species is obtained, the specific genes responsible for controlling the yield traits are determined and resultantly, more breeding techniques are applied to make those traits more expressive for us. As a matter of fact, there has not been as much work done on Wheat as has been done on a number of other crops such as rice, cotton or maize. However, now the breeding and biotechnological scientists around the world are inclined to the fact that there is an immediate and inevitable need to make significant biotechnological improvements in wheat crop so as to make sure that the per acre yield is highly increased in some short coming years to meet the challenges of this ever increasing population.

Biotechnological Improvements in Wheat - The Challenges
It is worth mentioning that wheat has been ranked as a comparatively difficult plant for making studies related to molecular genetics on it. Although there are quite a few reasons for this, but two of these reasons are of immense importance and are listed below.
• Hexaploid nature of the crop is an important and highlighted issue.
• A comparatively lower level of polymorphism amongst the leading or key varieties of Wheat plant is also an issue.

Thus, due to this, scientists are finding it difficult to produce effective biotechnological improvements in Wheat while dealing it with biotechnological methodologies. However, this doesn't actually mean that there is no study being carried out in this regard. Scientists are in continuous efforts to employee all possible techniques to harvest a fruitful result in this regard. The key area of research studies and focus highlighted by the scientists is the gene identification and isolation in wheat plant. Thus they are making use of the biotechnological methodologies to spot the genes responsible for controlling the yield traits in wheat and according to some reports; they have been successful in this attempt to certain extent. Moreover, once the genes are identified and spotted, the next important step would be to isolate those genes and then harvesting the desired results. Thus, the future concerns regarding the yield increase of wheat crop, (per acre increase in yield) and other biotechnological improvements in Wheat appear to be quite promising and plant physiologists and biotechnological experts are hopefully looking forward at some very fruitful results in the near future.

Thus it can be fairly and confidently concluded that the future of human race is very much associated with a successful biotechnological improvements in wheat crop as it seems to be one of the most important tool in meeting the unimaginably high food requirements of human populations in coming decade or so. Therefore, plant breeders, biotechnologists and the biotechnological institutions around the world are focusing more and more on it. It will be very interesting to see a miraculous study in this regard in the near future.

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