Genomics in Agriculture

Learning Outcomes

  • Outline the potential benefits and risks associated with agricultural uses of biotechnology

Genomics can reduce the trials and failures involved in scientific research to a certain extent, which could improve the quality and quantity of crop yields in agriculture. Linking traits to genes or gene signatures helps to improve crop breeding to generate hybrids with the most desirable qualities. Scientists use genomic data to identify desirable traits, and then transfer those traits to a different organism. Scientists are discovering how genomics can improve the quality and quantity of agricultural production. For example, scientists could use desirable traits to create a useful product or enhance an existing product, such as making a drought-sensitive crop more tolerant of the dry season.

GMO Controversies: Science versus Public Fear

Watch Borut Bohanec, the Chair of the Department of Agronomy at the University of Ljubljana (in Slovenia), as he discusses the fears and potential benefits surrounding GMOs.

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