"Modern agricultural technology and the introduction of new high-yielding varieties are largely eliminating the wide range of crop genetic diversity that has evolved during the five to ten thousand years since food plants were first domesticated. Related wild species are also on the decline because of new land use policies. These gene pools are generally spoken of as genetir resources, and are vitally needed in the creation of new crop varieties by plant breeders. Wild species and land races often furnish genes ronferring resistance to diseases and pests and adaptation to environmental stresses which cannot be found in the modern crop varieties. Genetic engineering can be used to introduce specific traits into plants. It will not replace conventional breeding but can add to the efficiency of crop improvement. It is possible due to the fact that plants are totipotent, enabling regeneration of a new plant from an isolated cell. Transformation of dicots is usually carried out using the bacterium, Agrobacterium tumefaciens. Genes are cloned into plant expression vectors that carry the right and left border sequences. They are introduced into plants with the aid of a disarmed tumour inducing plasmid whose virulence gene products allow the genes to be transferred to the plant nucleus where they are integrated into the genome. Plant biotechnology offers important opportunities for agriculture, horticulture, and the pharmaceutical and food industry by generating transgenic varieties with altered properties. This is likely to change farming practice and reduce the potential negative impact of plant production on the environment.
Two-Volume ‘Brig’s Handbook of Methods & Research in Genetic Engineering of Plants’ offers various interesting aspects of genetic engineering. It shows the worldwide advances and potential benefits of plant genetic engineering focusing on the third millennium. The contributed authors discuss the production of transgenic plants resistant to biotic and abiotic stress, the improvement of plant qualities, the use of transgenic plants as bioreactors, and the use of plant genomics for genetic improvement and gene cloning. The book throws light on new transformation strategies which can be used to increase the transformation efficiency in most plant species. Genetic engineering offers potentially viable solution to look for alternatives beyond Bt toxins with similar pattern of toxicity.
Two-Volume ‘Brig’s Handbook of Methods & Research in Genetic Engineering of Plants’ focuses on aspects of genome editing which will assist researchers to harvest transgenic plants in a more convenient and safer way to genetic modification of stem cells holding significant therapeutic promise to treat complications of diabetes and obesity. will be invaluable to biotechnologists, researchers and students alike working in the biological sciences. It should also prove useful to everyone dedicated to the study of the socioeconomic and environmental impact of the new technologies, while emphasizing scientific information on the progress and outlooks of the production of genetically modified plants."