Biotechnology has revolutionized the research activities in agriculture. It has also helped in increasing agricultural productivity, diversity and development of resistant varieties. The development of genetically engineered crop is one of the best-known applications of biotechnology in agriculture.
Using tissue culture technique, unlimited numbers of plants are being propagated from a single plant possessing the desired characteristics. Bio-technology can also be used to utilize the ability of nitrogen fixing bacteria like rhizobium azobaster, Clostridium and blue-green algae. Biotechnology methods can be used for development of hybrid seeds which are capable of performing.
Their functions more efficiently than their parents under different agronomic conditions. The biotechnology methods have enormously increased the scope for evolving improved varieties of plants of all kinds. It is now feasible to develop and propagated plants that are resistant to different constraint such as drought, salinity and various pests in disease. Biotechnology has also facilitated in the development of alternative strategies towards pest control which include the use of biological control agents, attractants and grow affecting agents.
These bio-pesticides are also environmental friendly. In sericulture, biotechnology has been used to increase the production has been used to increase the production of silk and for generating improved races with high silk yield.
In the field of animal husbandry, biotechnology is being used to increase production efficiency through manipulation and control of physiological systems and by improving the health and well being of animals. Embryo transfer, artificial insemination, cloning and genetic engineering like biotechnological methods have given rise to newer varieties of animals, that disease resistant and have higher production levels. Biotechnologies have also been used in food processing etc.
The applications of biotechnology in food include areas like efficient storage by eliminating pests and rodents, increasing nutritive value of food, enhancement of flavour, single cell protein for human consumption, fermented foods though enzyme engineering^ i.e. wine, beer etc. Mushroom cultivation and development of tests for detection of food contaminating micro organisms and toxins. The produce is another application of biotechnology in agriculture sector.