B4.7.5.4

Role of biotechnology

Content

    • Students should be able to describe and explain some possible biotechnical and agricultural solutions, including genetic modification, to the demands of the growing human population.

Modern biotechnology techniques enable large quantities of microorganisms to be cultured for food.

The fungus Fusarium is useful for producing mycoprotein, a protein-rich food suitable for vegetarians. The fungus is grown on glucose syrup, in aerobic conditions, and the biomass is harvested and purified.

A genetically modified bacterium produces human insulin. When harvested and purified this is used to treat people with diabetes.

GM crops could provide more food or food with an improved nutritional value such as golden rice.