It was in 1953 that James Watson and Francis Crick along with Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin announced the Double Helix Structure of the DNA molecule, which is the chemical substance of heredity. This opened up the science of molecular genetics or what is also referred to as the new genetics. Since then, many Nobel Prizes have gone to scientists, who have been working in the field of molecular genetics as applied to physiology, medicine and health. Recombinant DNA technology has become the most important contribution of modern biotechnology.
Biotechnology extends the frontiers of human capability with reference to the transfer of genes across sexual barriers. The need for novel genetic combinations is growing day by day because agriculture is confronted with new challenges arising from climate change and habitat loss. We will have to produce more and more food, feed, fodder, fibre and medicinal and industrial crops from diminishing per capita land and water availability, and expanding biotic and abiotic stresses. This challenge can be met only by an intelligent integration of the tools of Mendelian and molecular genetics. While the hard core of biotechnology is recombinant DNA technology, tissue culture techniques and marker assisted selection also provide opportunities for achieving many of the desired breeding objectives. Both agriculture and industry need for their progress continuous improvements in technology since technology is the prime mover of change. The growing environmental pollution necessitates more research in the field of bio-remediation. M. S. Swaminathan, Sixty years of molecular genetics and a new deal for small farmers
Last date updated on October, 2020