Biotechnology: Pest Management

Authored by: Maurizio G. Paoletti

Managing Biological and Ecological Systems

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138342644
eBook ISBN: 9780429346170
Adobe ISBN:


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Disease and insect pest resistance to various pests has been slowly bred into crops for the past 13,000 years; current techniques in biotechnology now offer opportunities to further and more rapidly improve the non-chemical control of disease and insect pests of crops. However, relying on a single factor, like the Bacillus thuringiensis (BT) toxin that has been inserted into corn, cotton, and a few other crops for insect control, leads to various environmental problems, including insect resistance, and a serious threat to beneficial biological control insects and endangered species. A major environmental and economic cost associated with genetic engineering applications in agriculture relates to the use of herbicide- resistant crops (HRCs). In general, HRC technology results in increased herbicide use, pollution of the environment, and weed control costs for farmers that may be twofold greater than standard weed control costs. Therefore, pest control with both pesticides and genetic engineering methods can be improved for effective, safe, and economical pest control.

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