Developments in Tomato

Several crops are now being investigated for possible improvements in commercial production and nutrition. Tomatoes are associated with its lycopene content, a nutritional factor that is related to Vitamin A and phytochemicals. The possible transgenic enhancement of tomatoes to improve its lycopene content is now a subject of investigations. Delayed ripening of tomatoes to improve its flavor is also being considered (Future Transgenic Products, 2004). The high salinity of soils in many different farm areas is a major problem in crop production.

This problem is considered by Zhang and Blumwald (2001) when they developed a tomato plant that has the ability to tolerate an environment of high salinity without itself getting salty in taste (Future Transgenic Products, 2004).. This is not yet commercially available but offers a promising set of benefits (Chrisafis, 2001). 2. Developments in Rice With millions of people suffering from Vitamin A deficiency, especially in developing countries (Golden Rice, 2006; WHO, 2006), the incorporation of the vitamin has become a very significant role in the alleviation of the problem.

This could be done by incorporating the vitamin in a staple food and in developing countries, the staple food is rice. Researchers have developed a rice capable of producing beta-carotene. This variety is called the Golden Rice and contains a gene from corn or daffodils and Erwinia, a soil bacterium (Golden Rice, 2006). Field tests are still to be done possibly in a year or two (Future Transgenic Products, 2004). 3. Domestic Use Advanced studies in genetic engineering could also be applied in turf grass.

The problems commonly encountered in the maintenance of turfgrass include the necessary application of chemicals, the huge amounts of water required and the necessity for mowing. Genetic discoveries answer these problems by improving turfgrass varieties to increase herbicide tolerance, disease and insect resistance, improved tolerance to environmental stress and reduced growth rates to reduce the frequency of mowing (Future of Transgenic Products, 2006). 4. Consumer Product Development

Studies are now being conducted to produce more desirable consumer products such as “naturally” decaffeinated coffee and tea, and nicotine-free tobacco; all these, through transgenics. Conclusion Transgenic plants is now contributing the development and ease of production which benefit both the producers and the consumers. The future of transgenic plants holds much promise as well in terms of global nutritional improvement especially with global population’s logarithmic growth, disease prevention and product development.

However, much studies need to be made to ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs of such improvements.

References

Biotechnology Industry Organization. (2006). Plant-based Pharmaceuticals: Frequently Asked Questions. www. bio. org. Retrieved 30 Nov 2006 from http://www. bio. org/healthcare/pmp/factsheet2. asp. Biotechnology Industry Organization. (2006). Advantages of Plants to Therapeutic Medicine. www. bio. org. Retrieved 30 Nov 2006 from http://www. bio. org/healthcare/pmp/factsheet3. asp.