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Nanocarrier spray: Better crops without genetic modification.
The study summarizes a research article by RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan. The research Centre discovered how they could utilize technology to improve crops quality. It involves changing plant genomes whereby specific chemicals are sprayed to the crop’s leaves to produce bioactive molecules into plant cells. I found this technology interesting since apart from enhancing crops to grow with quality, crops can resist pests or become more resistant to drought. Therefore, the article justifies how farmers can produce genetically modified organisms (GMOs) foods instead of waiting for crops to mature naturally.
The article highlights that the technology may be expensive, time-consuming, and only a few people know, making it difficult to be applicable in many places. However, I find it interesting that the RIKEN CSRS researchers developed an alternative to GM food to overcome these problems. Mr. Masaki Odahara, who led the team, outlines that they faced challenges just like any other project. One of them was how to develop a delivery method that would be practical for cultivated crops under actual agricultural conditions, and they identified it as spraying crops widely.
The researchers noted several nanoparticles that can penetrate plant cells but focused on cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs). This is because CPPs can target specific structures inside plants cells, for instance, chloroplasts. The article outlines that the researchers justified that the technology performs best when plasmid DNA is attached to the CPPs. The researchers also silenced genes specific to chloroplasts by including a chloroplast-targeting peptide to a particular CPP-RNA complex.
Comment 1: (Connor)
When reading your article, I haven’t heard of this topic yet. It’s a great choice because the benefits from the technology could save tons of money and dramatically reduce the problems involved in farming. I know it says that the best form is to spray the crops but I wonder if drip irrigation could work just as well. We have so many different types of farming techniques and they all provide a specific benefit for how its done, and I wonder if other ways such as injecting it into the roots or the soil near the crops could have a desirable outcome.
Being able to protect the crops against pesticides and other harmful factors would be a huge win for us. It would mean cleaner food and hopefully it would help peoples diet. However, normally when something helps us, people charge more for it. I wonder if even though it would be better for crops and everything, I think it would cost us humans more money.
I actually have heard of this kind of technology being used in farming, I come from a very small community but a large community of farmers! My best friend’s dad/family farm is a large contributor to our little community with crops and pumpkins every year. These types of technologies would be useful in many different produce farms such as farms on the west southern coast for all round year use and over the midwest sporadically through farming seasons. It honestly would be quite helpful in the squash/pumpkin growing too, I use to hand plant 5+ acres. Remembering the pumpkin seeds were bright teal color before putting them in the ground, being told to not touch our faces or mouths. What was being used was a type of pesticide that caused animals such as deer, rabbits, groundhogs, raccoons along with many other animals to stop eating the seeds before germination.
I am also curious as to what Connor (1st comment) had said about Drip irrigation over spray irrigation to help with air pollution. That is a large problem when it comes to farmers spraying crops in spring/summer and even fall sometimes. When growing up we were always told if you see farmers in the field with sprayers you don’t ride with your windows down. I believe that this system of farm would be a lot more beneficial in the long run for everyone, everything and everywhere. Paying and invest in personal health and world health is truthfully a very important aspect to taking care of oneself (self-love). I am hopeful for this sustainable shift in the agricultural community.