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The benefits and implications of improving plant productivity.

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Introduction

Skills I and J The benefits and implications of improving plant productivity. Ever since man started farming, he has tried to improve the crop production. There are many methods that can be done to achieve this, and modern technology allows for a huge choice about what can be done with terms of the productivity of crops. [2] Selective breeding has been done by farmers for years, where crops were chosen if they had high yield for example, and then bred so that the farmers overall yield would be higher. Modern technology however allows genetic material to be altered in a way that does not occur naturally by the reproduction of the crops, and will also take a lot shorter amount of time as it can be achieved instantly, as apposed to having to wait several generations for the desired characteristic to be passed on. An example of where a crop has been genetically 'enhanced' is the tomato. ...read more.

Middle

This is just one example of where a plants DNA has been altered, but there are many other examples of where this has been done to increase the productivity or the quality of the product. [2] Another problem that farmers have is that they need to prevent 'weed' plants growing in a crop field because they compete with the crop for resources such as minerals and water. They can also be an unacceptable contaminant in foods made from harvested crops. Because weeds and crops are all plants, many herbicides that kill weeds also kill crops. Some 'selective' herbicides have been developed to exploit minor differences in the physiology of crops and common weeds, but these are not effective against all weeds. Other approaches to controlling weeds are needed too. [5] [1] Genetically modified herbicide resistant plants have been developed. This has involved copying and transferring genes for herbicide resistance, which are found in naturally occurring bacteria, into the plants. ...read more.

Conclusion

That said however, it could also turn out to be huge benefit to the environment, and it could put a stop to world hunger in poorer countries. It is hard to tell how all this engineering will affect the environment as little can be don to predict the outcome, but it is generally thought that genetically modifying foods should not be commercially done until all possible side affects or problems that could arise have been looked into. [6] [5] The strong opinions that many people have on the subject of genetic engineering means that laws have been made to ensure that people know when they are eating a food that contains genetically modified material in it. [6] [2] Internet site - http://www.jic.bbsrc.ac.uk/exhibitions/bio-future/perform.htm [1] Book - 'Understanding Biology for advanced level- Glenn and Susan Toole' [2] Book - 'Biology [3] Internet Site - http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Pages/eccrops/cropprofits.html [4] Magazine - biological review [5] Newspaper - the times 06/01/03 [6] ...read more.

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