One of the greatest worries about increased temperatures is the corn impact it has on Agricultural practices. This is because heat waves are perceived to have an impact on the atmospheric humidity through the creation of a drought condition. In the long-term, this extends into reducing the amount of water that is in the soil, rivers, and lakes among corn water sources. Another under worry about the high temperatures is that relating to the prospects of food crops bidding their natural habitats a good bye. According to expert agronomists, if the temperatures rise beyond a certain threshold, there will be anticipated a decline of yield significantly.
However, climate change is not a good thing as people may want to describe it. This is because of the problems that come along with it apart from the high temperatures that exceed the tolerant limits of various species of crops. The alteration in the normal patterns of the weather has a great impact on the systems of agriculture in certain areas. Similarly, variability in the climatic patterns may lead to draft that gives rise to floods during seasons that would otherwise be dry under normal conditions. This causes dryness during wet seasons and thus affects the crops that have been planted. This leads to the crippling of crops for long periods of time.
One of the ways in which this can be taken care of is through adaptation of the genetically engineered crops species that are tolerant to harsh environmental conditions. This means that GMO plants can be produced so that they can withstand drought, floods, extreme temperatures as well as novel breeds of pests. This serves as a promising area that can help in salvaging the extreme changes in the climatic patterns that hit hard the agriculturally productive regions across the globe. This requires employing biotechnology techniques that will help in promoting the crop adaptation.
GM crops in stress conditions
The effects of the alteration in the weather have been attributed as one of the leading causes of changes in the soil conditions. This often leads to toxic salt levels in the ground that are not favorable for crops. In Australia, a gene has been identified in Wheat to play a central role in marker-assisted breeding has promised to offer great avenues of taking care of the salt concentrations in the soil. This is by conferring salt tolerance traits in the GM crops. Based on a report given by the FAO (2010), there is a possibility that the use of biotechnology based techniques can lead to the salt tolerant crops through genetic engineering. This is after a long period of 10 years of genetic research utilizing transgenic plants to alter the salt tolerance. The value and success of this particular approach are anticipated in the filed experiments that are on-going in Australia. The success of this approach is one of the greatest techniques of GMO drought tolerant crops and thus promoting the climate-smart farming technology.
GMO maize, MON87460 to feed people in droughts
There have been significant efforts put in place by the genetic engineers in converting crops so that they can efficiently use carbon dioxide and water. This means that significant conversion of the metabolism of the plants from carbon 3 to carbon four metabolisms has to occur. The carbon four plants that include maize, as well as sugarcane, have a more efficient way of using their water and carbon dioxide. This means that successful genetic engineering of drought tolerance genes has currently been found impossible because of the major changes that have to be made in the metabolic cycle.
In some parts of Africa, Australia, and Europe, there is evidence of plants growing in the absence of moisture after prolonged periods of droughts. Recently, there has been the release of maize that is tolerant to droughts by Monsanto. The maize is referred to as MON87460, and there is anticipation for the marketing consent release for this batch of corn. It is under conditions that have limited amounts of water that the grain yield for the corn loss was reduced significantly when compared to the conventional maize. However, just like the regular corn, MON87460 maize still suffers from loss of yield especially in conditions where the amount of water is limited. This often has been reported to happen during the stage of flowering and the grainfill period. This is because it is during this time that the yields of maize are greatly influenced by their sensitivity to stress conditions. Because of this, the kernel development is disrupted significantly.
Additionally, the maize grain yield of the MON87460 maize has the potential to reach zero level especially under conditions of severe water deficiency. The most important factor to note is that the information that is available from the Monsanto is not inclusive of the evidence that indeed the GMO maize MON87460 will thrive in conditions of limited water.
Currently, there are researches taking place in France on a wide range of crops that have the ability to withstand inhospitable climatic conditions. This includes research on Grapes that are designed to fight against common environmental viruses as well as the wheat in Australia striving to produce foods that have lower glycemic levels. Additionally, other studies are those focusing on cassavas that are resistant to ceratin viruses and bananas that contain high levels of iron. All these studies strive at ensuring that we have GM plants that are climate smart and can assure the future of food security.
A wide range of miracle GMO plants that are capable of thriving in marginal lands is the focus of most researches today. This is to ensure that there is the development of genetically engineered crops that are tolerant to abiotic stresses that include high salt concentrations, droughts among other factors. However, in as much as these promises are highly manipulative of the common farmers, the results of which are still at the level of mere speculations. If we have successful genetic engineering of pants that will confer drought resistance traits, then it will be a happy future for all the people across the globe. This is because it means sufficient food and thus food security. However, there is still the challenge of making significant alterations to the metabolism of the plant.