What Is Plant Biotechnology?

Plant biotechnology is a scientific technique that adapts plants for specific purposes by cross-breeding, extending their growing seasons, adjusting height, color and texture and several other mechanisms. Some plant biotechnologies exist for the purpose of creating reliable and sustainable food sources for populations around the world, while other technologies use plants for scientific and medical research, and find ways to make crops resistant to droughts, diseases and other maladies.

One type of plant biotechnology is transgenic biotechnology, which essentially involves exchanging plant genes to create a superior hybrid species. This type of biotechnology involves growing tissue cultures to develop unique new plants. The new species then exhibit the desired new trait, such as increased nutritional value or improved resistance to pests. Plant biotechnology is also used to create novel genetic combinations, such as hybridization, mutation and transgenic movement. Hybridization involves merging two distinct set of genes to create random combinations while mutation creates unpredictable changes to produce a series of random genes in just one plant. Transgenic gene movement involves inserting one or two new genes to an existing plant, which creates subtle changes. Some plant biotechnologies produce small changes to enhance certain plant qualities or characteristics while others produce entirely new specimens with altered physical characteristics.