Increasingly, biotechnology is providing new solutions to old agronomic problems. We have learned in recent years to improve crops by introducing herbicide- or insect-resistance. We are discovering and understanding how to optimize metabolic pathways and physiological processes in plants to increase crop yield potential and crop production under challenging agricultural environments. Efforts are also under way to improve crop quality and nutritional value for human consumption as well as animal feed.

Molecular biology tools will never replace the input and role of crop breeders in improving agronomic traits, but these tools will enable them to be more responsive in both time and breadth of environmentally sensitive traits to meet agricultural market needs and opportunities. Biotechnology tools combined with conventional breeding should position us to be able to take greater care of the production environment and allow us to achieve adequate food production and security for the growing world population.

Recent advancements in biotechnology are providing the research communities with new tools such as genomics and proteomics that will allow researchers to discover new genes and understand their function in higher numbers, and with greater speed and more precision. The knowledge gained from these technologies has mushroomed in recent years and is bringing more opportunities and tools to solve agricultural problems that once were hard to approach or understand.

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Guide to Alternative Fuels

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