Global Food Security

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  • Created by: Laura
  • Created on: 18-05-13 15:26

Breeding Plants

  • Not enough good to feed people
  • The world healthy organization calls this global food security crisis
  • New varieties of crops with higher yields are being produced to provide more food

Conventional breeding - producing offspring using the natural technique of cross-breeding

  • cross-breeding higher yield plants
  • Gets repeated for many generations 
  • eventually produced a high yeilding crop with is named and sold
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Pest management strategies

Each year, a high number of crops are lost to pests (insects and fungal diseases)

Resistant plants can be developed

Best strategy is integrated pest management (IPM) 

  • Uses several different pest control strategies at the same time
  • For annual plants, they can be planted in different fields each year. Crop Rotation
  • helps prevent build-up of soil pests for each crop
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Increasing population also needs more energy for inductry transport and other uses.

Need to reduce fossil fuel usage 

Biofuels - made by, or from, living organisms (plants etc)

  • renewable
  • doesn't take long to produce them 
  • can keep growing them 
  • Carbon neutral 
  • However, they take up a lot of land that could be used for growing food
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Genetic Modification

  • Widely grown in developing and developed countries
  • Many have a gene that makes them resistant to herbicides

2008 - purple tomoato developed 

  • Contains snapdragon genes that produce extra pigments called flavonoids
  • tests show it helps mice with cancer to live longer and may be useful to humans
  • However, it will be to expensive for developing countries to buy and grow

GM crop seeds

  • More expensive in developed countires than normal seeds
  • Indian farmers borrowed money to buy GM seeds because they believed it would have a better yield
  • However, they produced less food as they were not adapted to the soil and climate
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Making GM plants

Transgenic plants - contains genes that have been taken from another species

Produced using Agrobacterium tumefaciens

  • Required gene is inserted into the bacterium which is then allowed to infect plants
  • This introduces the required gene into the plant cells
  • So the A. tumefaciens acts as a go-between or vector


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BT crops

Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium that is normally found in soil

Produces Bt toxin when eaten by insects, which is poisonous

  • Less insecticide is used, reducing damage to enviroment
  • Higher yields produced as less is lost to pests
  • Could kill harmless insects
  • Bt gene might spread into closely related wild plants 
  • Some insects have evolved resistant to the Bt toxin
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