Plant Pandemics

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COVID-19 has made the potential for human pandemics clear to us. We saw the value of biotechnology in quickly creating vaccines in our efforts to overcome COVID-19. The European Union actually relaxed their “GMO” rules to speed up the development of vaccines. The chart below from Bio illustrates how technology has helped speed up the development of vaccines.

Vaccine development chart

Pandemics have been common in food crops and can be very disruptive to the food supply, especially in countries that struggle with food security. Biotechnology has been used recently to control plant pandemics such as Papaya ringspot virus and late blight in potatoes, Genetic engineering is currently being used to develop disease resistance to many crops such as citrus greening in oranges. Genetic engineering has the potential to help develop resistance to future plant pandemics that are sure to come. Genetic engineering has the potential to help develop resistance to future plant pandemics that are sure to come as shown in this video from the 2Blades Foundation.