BiotechnologyThe term “biotechnology” (or biotechnologies) encompasses a broad range of technologies used for the characterization, conservation and utilization of genetic resources for food and agriculture. For example, molecular markers have been used in a variety of ways to characterize genetic resources, to identify priority genetic resources for conservation and to effectively manage ex-situ collections; in-vitro technologies can complement conventional conservation methods; tissue culture provides the means to overcome reproductive barriers; development of vaccines using biotechnologies and the use of DNA-based diagnostics can reduce economic losses due to debilitating diseases; advances in genomics (the study of all the genetic material of an organism) and other “omics” are playing an increasingly significant role in increasing understanding of the fundamental elements of plant and animal biology.
The Commission has a key interest in technical and policy developments in the field of biotechnology as it relates to genetic resources for food and agriculture. FAO undertook an overview survey of biotechnology issues and trends for the Commission in order to identify those relevant to FAO and the Commission and to determine what remained to be done in terms of policy and technical assistance. Reviews of the application and integration of biotechnologies in the conservation and utilization of genetic resources have been milestones of the Commission’s Multi-Year Programme of Work.
- Recent developments in biotechnologies relevant to the characterization, sustainable use and conservation of genetic resources for food and agriculture
- Proceedings of the FAO International Symposium on the Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition
- Biotechnologies at work for smallholders: case studies from developing countries in crops, livestock and fish
- Biotechnologies for agricultural development. (Proceedings of the FAO international technical conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries)
- Marker-assisted selection: current status and future perspectives in crops, livestock, forestry and fish
- The role of biotechnology in exploring and protecting agricultural genetic resources