22 Pages

Transgenic Vegetable Crops

SUMMARY. Modem gene transfer based on recombinant DNA tech­ nology is a rapidly growing subject and offers vast opportunity for mani­ festing the utility of this technology in economic terms. Various areas where there is an enormous scope for this technology application in vegetables include improved yield, altered nutrition quality, improved resistance to diseases, pests and herbicides and in food stuffs having therapeutic value. Accordingly the preferred target area of research in gene transfer, apart from the ones cited above, include tolerance to vari­ ous abiotic stresses, plant productivity genes, genes affecting nitrogen fixation, usage of male sterility for production of hybrids, increased stor­ age life, various aesthetic aspects of the product, etc. Keeping these ad­ vantages in view, there has been a drastic increase in the total cultivable area under transgenic crops globally. Among all vegetable crops potato, tomato, eggplant, peppers, cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrot has received the maximum attention particularly in the areas relating to insect pests, disease and herbicide resistance and quality improvement. The paper discusses on the specific technology adopted in these areas. It also discusses the various issues relating to biosafety issues, current con­ straints in transformation, etc. [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Sen’ice: 1-800-HAWORTH. E-mail address: <[email protected]> Website: <> © 2004 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved. J

Digital Object Identifier: I0.l300/J153v06n04_06 411

KEYW ORDS. Transgenics, vegetables, insect pest resistance, disease resistance, herbicide tolerance, biosafety issues

Modem gene transfer based on recombinant DNA technology is a rapidly growing subject and their intelligent use offers new opportunity for making di­ rected changes to plant genotypes. Genetic transformation can introduce a gene for desired trait without disturbing the genetic architecture of the plant. Recent developments in molecular biology and genetic transformation have made it possible to identify, isolate and transfer of any desirable gene(s) from any living organism to crop plants and vice-versa. Agriculture biotechnology is no longer just an academic or basic research program but a commercial real­ ity in terms of economic attributes. These attributes include plants with im­ proved agronomic traits, resistance to insect-pest and diseases, tolerance to herbicides, enhanced quality, pharmaceutical products, chemicals, and biofuels.