Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Genetics in Medicine - Part 1 » Biopesticides - Living Organisms Serving As Biopesticides, Genetically Modified Organisms As Biopesticide Producers, Disease Resistance In Crops - Natural Chemical Defenses, Herbicide-Resistant Crops

Biopesticides - Disease Resistance In Crops

genetic viral papaya bred genes

More than 95 percent of all crops have some degree of pathogen resistance bred into them, with resistance to fungi, bacteria, and viruses being most common. Most of this resistance was either added by farmer selection or plant breeder selection, rather than through genetic engineering. It is because of this natural resistance that has been bred into the crops that only 12 percent of the pesticides used in U.S. agriculture are fungicides.

Some viral resistance, however, has been bred into a number of crops through insertion of viral genes into the plant chromosomes. These genes may lead to the plant's producing viral proteins—biopesticides of a sort—that hamper a virus's own actions. This pathogen-derived resistance has been successfully used to protect Hawaii's papaya crop from the devastating papaya ringspot potyvirus. The viral gene was inserted into the papaya genome using a "gene gun," which shoots viral genes into papaya embryo cells.

Biopesticides - Insect-resistant Crops [next] [back] Biopesticides - Genetically Modified Organisms As Biopesticide Producers

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