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B6 - Selective breeding, Genetic engineering and Food Security FT
Terms in this set (14)
What is selective breeding used for?
-Selective breeding is used to pass wanted traits on to the next generation of organisms.
-For example farmers may use it to produce disease resistant crops
-It can also be used to combine two different characteristics
Describe the process of selective breeding
1. Choose the parents with the desired characteristics from a mixed population
2. Breed them together
3. Continue with the best of the offspring
4. This continues over many generations until all the offspring show the desired characteristic
Advantages of selective breeding
- more efficient farming means cheaper food for consumer
- higher yield
- can make a better quality/more nutritious product
- less waste so better for environment
Disadvantages of selective breeding
- less genetic variation may mean diseases affect more organisms
- higher chance of genetically inherited diseases
- loss of alleles from the gene pool - can't produce new varieties in the future
What is genetic engineering
-used to move genes for desired characteristics from one organism to another, so it also has those characteristics
-the organisms genome is changed during the process
Benefits of genetic engineering
-resistant to insects pests = less pesticides
-require fewer environmental resources
-tolerant to herbicides, so weeds can be controlled
-longer shelf life
-increased food security
-more nutritious food
-combats deficiency diseases
Drawbacks of genetic engineering
-transplanted genes could get out into the environment, and resistance genes could be picked up by weeds, which would create super weeds.
-the long term consequences are currently unknown, and they could affect food chains and human health which will be passed down through generations
-reduces farmland biodiversity as it could affect the number of weeds & flowers and therefore wildlife living around crops
Ethical issues of genetic engineering
-wrong to engineer organisms purely for human benefit especially if they suffer as a result
-we may not stop at animals and plants and that those who cannot afford it may become a genetic underclass
-it is irresponsible because the consequences are unknown
Name and describe another example of a genetically engineered crop
-potato containing 60% more protein per gram and produces a larger yield
What is food security?
Having enough food to feed a population
How do changing diets affect food security?
-wealthier people want a wider variety of diets
-they also want more meat which is more expensive
-increased demand for meat means lower food security because you can produce much more by growing crops than breeding animals and animals also often eat the human humans could eat
How does sustainability affect food security?
-using unsustainable methods to produce food e.g permanantly damaging the environment, will negatively impact food security
How do fertilisers increase agricultural yields? (+ drawbacks)
-they ensure crops have enough nutrients
-elements may have already been used up by another crop which will affect growth & life processes so farmers replace them to increase crop yield
-environmental problems = can run off fields into ponds, rivers = death of organisms in water
How do pesticides increase agricultural yields? (+ drawbacks)
-They are chemicals sprayed onto crops to kill what damages them
Insecticides = kill insects
Herbicides = kills unwanted plants
Fungicides = kills (destroys fungi)
-However they are often poisonous to humans so must be kept at a safe level in food
-Can kill other wildlife e.g bees and ladybirds causing a shortage of food further up in a food chain
-Some pesticides can be passed along food chains which can kill organisms further up if they consume a lot that has accumulated lower down in the food chain.
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