The controlled use of biological agents, such as, micro organisms or cellular components for beneficial use is known as Biotechnology.
Applications of Biotechnology are as follows:
(a) Genetic Engineering leading to transformation followed by regeneration of plant to give ‘transgenic plants’ carrying desirable traits like disease resistance etc.
(b) Use of Biofertilizes such as Rhizobium & Blue-Green algae instead of chemical fertilizers prevents loss to environment.
2. Animal Husbandry:
Including production of physiological systems, embryo transfer technology & improving health & well being of animals.
Efficient grain storage by eliminating pest & rodents, increased nutritive value of foods, enhancement of flavour, fermented foods through enzyme engineering, mushrooms cultivation food algae etc.
Biotechnology has enabled the production of human insulin through microbes, human growth hormone etc. Attempts are going on the use of biotechnology to cure some form of cancer and viral infections.
Drug for treatment of diseases can be manufactured using biotechnology. Vaccine production by RDNA technology against viral diseases is making good progress. Another area in the medical field influenced by biotechnology is diagnostic kits to diagnose viral infections hepatitis-B etc.
Biotechnological methods have been devised for some environmental problems like: (i) pollution control; (ii) depletion of natural resource for non-renewable energy; (iii) restoration of degraded lands and (iv) Biodiversity conservation eg. Microbes are being developed to be used as bio-pesticides, bio-fertiliser etc. Biomass is being produced and used as renewable, source of energy, by capturing solar energy.