The amount of damage done by pests to crops is immense. Approximately 20% of the worldwide yield of food crops are damaged anually because of pests and the diseases pests spread. The human population of the World continues to rise every second and lies by about 7.4 billion people at the moment. Therefore, an ever increasing amount of food also has to be grown. We can not afford to keep on loosing large amounts of food that we start to grow only because of pests. Scientists now have the abibilty to modificate genes of living organisms. This process is called genetic modification. Genetic modification, also known as genetic engineering, is a technique or process that is used to transfer individual genes from …show more content…
When pests oviposit heavily, it can mean the death or dieback of stems and branches of the tomatoe plant.
Pests can also spread diseases which destroy the tomatoes crops. They spread diseases in three different ways:
Incidental transmission, which happens when pests create an ‘infection court’ (any wounds (either oviposition or feeding wounds) caused by insects on the tomatoe plant). This ‘infection court’ then allows disease organisms (often called pathogens) to enter the tomatoe plant and spread deadly diseases.
Passive transmission, which happens when the pest carries the pathogen on it’s body and spreads it while it is wondering from one tomatoe plant to another.
Active transmission, which occurs when the pest already carries the pathogen in it’s own body and spreads it when feeding itself on the tomatoe plant.
Lastly, the amount of land available for growing crops is also limited. The worlds population also rises non-stop and therefore the land available also shrinks. We cannot afford to ‘waste’ land by planting crops which will, in the future, be damaged.
How have tomatoes been genetically modified to be pest …show more content…
For example: insecticidal toxin from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis has been transferred into tomatoe plants to be resistant to the tobacco hornworm (a very damaging pest) the tomato fruit worm (also called Heliothis zea), the tomato pinkworm and the tomato fruit borer (Helicoverpa armigera), all of which destroy tomatoe crops by feeding, ovipositing and spreading pathogens. Another gene called cysteine proteinase inhibitor has been transferred into tomatoe plants, making them resistant to another harmful pest called nematode. Another ceropin B gene has been used to make tomatoe plants resistant to bacterial wilt and bacterial spot. Scientists are still working on finding new genes that can be inserted into tomatoe plants to make them resistant to even more pests and diseases.
Genetic modification is a very sofisticated process. In this case, I am explaining the creation of a pest resistant tomatoe plant:
Firstly, the pest resistant gene of a bacterium has to be cut out and has to be inserted into a vector (which acts as a delivery of genetic material) with a antibiotical resistance marker gene. Then the vector has to be copied in bacteria.
After that, coat tungsten (a chemical element) particles with DNA vectors.
After that, the DNA vectors have to be coated with tungsten (a chemical element) particles. These have to be loaded into a teflon