Biotech Updates

PAU Experts Urge Use of Biotechnology in Pest Management

May 11, 2012

India's key scientists and entomologists who met during the national seminar on "Biotechnological Approaches in Pest Management" at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) recommend using biotech for optimum pest management. The national seminar was hosted by PAU's Department of Entomology and School of Agricultural Biotechnology. Guests included Darshan S. Brar, PAU adjunct professor and former head of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology Division of the International Rice Research Institute. Dr. Brar said that biotechnological interventions should be used to broaden the host range of natural enemies to enable their production on artificial diet or non-host insect species that can be easily multiplied in the laboratory.

Other scientists who participated in the forum include Hari C. Sharma (ICRISAT), J.S. Bentur (Directorate of Rice Research), Abraham Verghese (Indian Institute of Horticultural Research), S.S. Gosal and Kuldip Singh (PAU). They deliberated on possible new biotechnological approaches that can be used in pest management. A "Center for Excellence" was suggested by the group, where work can be done on transgenics, induced resistance, genetically engineered entomopathogens, molecular diagnostics for biotypes, DNA barcoding of important insects, and production of insect species.

Singh, who is the director of PAU's School of Agricultural Biotechnology said that the group stressed the need for close interaction among entomologists, molecular biologists and biotechnologists, and plant breeders to optimize the use of biotechnological approaches in pest development.

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