Bio Technology :: GM Crops
|BT Brinjal FAQ - English | Tamil|
Brinjal is an important vegetable crop grown though out the world. The damage caused by the shoot and fruit borer and fruit borer in brinjal is estimated to be around 50 to 70% in volume and $221 millions in value. The larvae of the insect damage the growing shoot in initial stage of the plant growth and later it damage the immature and mature fruits. The affected fruits become unmarketable. The farmers spray pesticides, 15 to 20 times to control the devastating pest in one season with limited control. Moreover due to application of heavy concentration of pesticides, the insect develops resurgence and fruits are having high amount of pesticide residue. To overcome the above problems, it is necessary to develop brinjal varieties / hybrids inherently resistant to this pest. The resistant may be introduced either by conventional method or by biotechnological approach. Bt brinjal technology is one of the biotechnological approach to develop a resistant variety / hybrid in brinjal.
Bt Brinjal is a transgenic brinjal created by inserting a Bt gene [cry1Ac] from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis into Brinjal by Agrobacterium mediated transformation method. The transgenic plants expressing cry1Ac gene is exhitbits resistance to the brinjal fruit and shoot borer. When the insect ingests Bt protein expressed by the plant, there would be disruption of digestive processes, resulting in the death of the insect within 48-72 hours. Significant reduction in shoot and fruit damage was observed compated to the non-Bt brinjal hybrids or varieties. Besides, there is a significant reduction in pesticide spray in Bt brinjal.