Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute, Faisalabad


What is Agricultural Biotechnology? Top
A range of tools, including traditional breeding techniques, that alter living organisms, or parts of organisms, to make or modify products; improve plants or animals; or develop microorganisms for specific agricultural uses. Modern biotechnology today includes the tools of genetic engineering.  
What is Bt crop? Top
Crops that are genetically engineered to carry a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The bacterium produces proteins that are toxic to specific pests but non-toxic to humans and other mammals. Crops containing the Bt gene are able to produce this toxin, thereby providing protection for the plant. Bt corn and Bt cotton are examples of commercially available Bt crops.   
What is Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)? Top
A technique using antibodies for detecting specific proteins. Used to test for the presence of a particular genetically engineered organism.   
What is Genetic engineering? Top
Manipulation of an organism's genes by introducing, eliminating or rearranging specific genes using the methods of modern molecular biology, particularly those techniques referred to as recombinant DNA techniques.   
Genetically modified organism (GMO)? Top
An organism produced from genetic engineering techniques that allow the transfer of functional genes from one organism to another, including from one species to another. Bacteria, fungi, viruses, plants, insects, fish and mammals are some examples of organisms whose genetic material has been artificially modified to change some physical property or capability. Living modified organisms (LMOs) and transgenic organisms are other terms often used instead of GMOs.  
What is Genomics? Top
The mapping and sequencing of genetic material in the DNA of a particular organism as well as the use of that information to better understand what genes do, how they are controlled, how they work together, and what their physical locations are on the chromosome.  
What is Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)? Top
A technique used to create a large number of copies of a target DNA sequence of interest. One use of PCR is in the detection of DNA sequences that indicate the presence of a particular genetically engineered organism.   
What is a Genetic marker? Top
A DNA sequence at a unique physical location in the genome, which varies sufficiently between individuals that its pattern of inheritance can be tracked through families and/or it can be used to distinguish among cell types. A marker may or may not be part of a gene. Markers are essential for use in linkage studies and genetic maps to help scientists to narrow down the possible location of new genes, and to discover the associations between genetic mutations and disease.  
What is meant by Tissue culture? Top
A general term used to describe the culture of cells, tissues or organs in a nutrient medium under sterile conditions.  
Insect attack is increasing on Bt crops. What is the reason? Top
Our current Bt cotton varieties are loosing there resistance against insect pests. Main reason for this issue is the presence of only one Bt gene Cry1AC in these varieties and development of resistance in insects against this gene.  
How can Biotechnology eleminate weeds? Top
With the help of Biotechnology roundup and other herbicie resistance genes have been introduced in various crops like wheat, cotton, sugarcane. With the help of these genes spray of broad spectrium herbicides will be possible on crops. With this eradication of all types of weeds will be possible from the field.  
Are GMO crops dangerous for human health? Top
Before introduction the GMO crops or varieties are thoroughly tested on the laboratory animals. These GMOs are not released for human use untill unless biosafety experts exmine and test these in all respects.  
Which GMO crop seeds are available in Pakistan? Top
The Biosafety Commission of Pakistan has approved GM crops of cotton and maize for general cultivation.  
Is production of disease free seed possible with Biotechnology? Top
Yes. With tissue culture technique we can generate large quantaties of disease free seed of crops in limited time. With this technique seed of potato, sugarcane and banana is produced and supplied to farmers.  
Are biofertilizers an alternative to chemical fertilizers? Top
Biofertilizers have been evolved through modern research. With this methods special bacteria are isolated from soil and grown on specific nutrient medias. These biofertilizers increase the availability of Nitrogen and phosphorus to plants and reduce the need of chemical fertilizers. However, these are not a complete alternate of chemical fertilizers.  
Is biotechnology helpful in the detection of new crop diseases? Top
Yes. Farmers can send us any unknown diseased crop plant. Biotechnologists isolated the DNA of disease pathogens from the leaves of these plants and by using specific DNA markers can identify the responsible pathogen accuraately thus enabeling agriculture scientists to timely and preciesly diagnose the disease and to suggest effective solutions.  
Can biotechnology help in developing resistance against the Redrot disease of sugarcane? Top
Yes! In biotechnology disease free plants of sugarcane are cultured on special medias through tissue culturing technique. Sugarcane plants are dveloped in special controlled temperature rooms. These plants are free from seed born diseases and give better yield and profit to farmers.  
What is the difference between the normal sugarcane seed and one developed through tissue culturing? Top
Common sugarcane seed is taken from open fields where different diseases accumulate in them through out year. Whereas tissue cultured seed is grown and developed on disease free nutrient media on which only disease free plants are generated and these seeds are then transferred to the farmers.  
Does Biotechnology Research Institute provides the facility of identification of GM and Non-GM crops to the farmers? Top
Yes! Undoubtly Ayub Agricultural research Institute has wast experties for the identification of GM and Non-GM crops. Especially farmers can send the samples of Gm and non-GM bt cotton to us for checking and our scientists can quickly send them the analysis report.  
Can cultivation of GMO crops reduce the production cost? Top
Cotton developed through GM technology has shown great reduction in pesticide sprayes.  Similarly roundup ready crops will soon be introduced that will reduce the need of weedicide sprays and farmers will get reduction in crop production cost.