Genetically Modified Crops: Insect Resistance

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Abstract or Summary

Insect pests have become an integral part of agricultural crops worldwide. They significantly reduce yield and affect almost every aspect of the plants. For many years major challenge for scientists has been developing the resistant varieties against pests in plants. Plant breeders have also been successful during the last century in producing a few Insect-resistant cultivars/lines of some potential crops through conventional breeding, but this again has utilized modest resources. However, this approach seems now inefficient due to a number of reasons and alternatively, genetic engineering for improving crop pest and disease resistance is being actively followed these days by the plant scientists, world-over. New tools and genes have been developed for use in the genetic engineering of plants to introduce effective resistance to biotic stresses and to understand the mechanisms of resistance. Recent advances in genetic engineering, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) has resulted in successful control of many economically important pests in food crops. This approach should allow increases in both productivity and quality of plants in an environmentally friendly manner, thereby reducing the use of and reliance on chemical control of pests.

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