International Journal of
Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Research

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Biotechnol. Mol. Biol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2154
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJBMBR
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 100

Review

Involvement of biotechnology in climate change adaptation and mitigation: Improving agricultural yield and food security

Godliving Y. S. Mtui
Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Dar es Salaam, P. O. Box 35179, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 31 October 2011
  •  Published: 30 December 2011

Abstract

 

In the context of climate change adaptation and mitigation, biotechnology can respond positively towards reducing vulnerability of natural and human systems to climate change effects. This paper reviews different approaches in which both conventional and modern biotechnology can be employed to address climate change adaptation and mitigation for improved crops adaptability, productivity and food security and contributing to the reduction of the greenhouse gases. The current challenges and future perspectives of biotechnology for climate change adaptation and mitigation are highlighted. The negative effects of climate change on agricultural productivity and food security as a result of extreme temperature, drought, salinity and infectious disease vectors include low yield, hunger and malnutrition. Conventional agricultural biotechnology methods such as energy-efficient farming, use of biofertilizers, tissue culture and breeding for adaptive varieties are among feasible options that could positively address the potential negative effects of climate change and thereby contributing to carbon sequestration initiatives. On the other hand, the adoption of modern biotechnology through the use of genetically modified stress-tolerant, energy-efficient and high-yielding transgenic crops also stand to substantially counter the negative effects of climate change. Safe application of biotechnology will greatly complement other on-going measures being taken to improve agricultural productivity and food security. Both conventional and modern agricultural biotechnologies will significantly contribute to the current and future worldwide climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts.

Key words: Adaptation, carbon sequestration, climate change, green biotechnology, marker assisted selection, mitigation.