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Agricultural Biotechnology

Introduction:

Agrobiotechnology encompasses a wide range of novel and emerging scientific and technological advancements and offers tremendous opportunities to bridge existing yield gaps, improve crop performance under stress, improve nutritional quality, explore new genetic resources, decrease chemical inputs and reduce environmental impact.

The objective of this module is to provide an understanding of the principles and emerging concepts in agrobiotechnology. It will also demonstrate how we can manage sustainable exploitation of plant and microbial resources in an environmentally-sensitive manner.


Objectives:

On completion of this module participants will be able to:

  • Understand the principles and the emerging concepts in agricultural biotechnology.
  • Critically evaluate the application of plant and microbial biotechnologies for sustainable agriculture.
  • Discuss and analyse how modern agricultural biotechnology and genetic resources can be harnessed to achieve environmental sustainability.


Contents:

  • Introduction to agricultural biotechnology: Principles of genetics and genetic modification; non-genetic engineering based technologies. Workshops in the applications of plant and microbial genetic diversity.
  • Genetic manipulation and biosafety regulation: Recombinant DNA techniques; discussion of biosafety issues. Workshops to involve students in the elements of molecular biology and genetic modification.
  • Molecular breeding: genetic mapping; QTLs; marker assisted selection. Workshops to analyse the potential of genomics and bioinformatics.
  • Application of agrobiotechnology to the challenges of biotic and abiotic stresses and stress tolerance. Discussion of selective breeding strategies.
  • Plant health and beneficial exploitation of microbes. Case studies to evaluate the use of bioinoculants.
  • Molecular diagnostics; principles and techniques. Workshops to involve students in modern diagnostic technologies.
  • Novel uses of plant and microbial diversity and genetic resources, bioprospecting, molecular pharming, bioindicators.