Modern biotechnology in agriculture field has been widely applied. As a new technology that uses molecular biology and genetic engineering techniques, it is able to manage the health of the plant, optimize production and reduce pesticide use.
Particularly, the crop protection biotechnology has been progressing very rapidly recently, providing many benefits in maintaining and increasing the production. The technology comprises of three main aspects, namely diagnosis or pest organisms identification, the identification interactions with the host plants and the environment, as well as the its control. Through molecular biology techniques, the pest can be identified and detected more accurately for the benefit of accurate and quick diagnosis. "The molecular biology techniques is very helpful in understanding the development of a disease infection in the host plant as well as the influence of environmental factors on the occurrence, severity and the spread of a pest attack," Prof. Dr. Ir. Siti Subandiyah explained in the Senate Hall on Wednesday (23/6), as she was inaugurated as a Professor in the Faculty of Agriculture UGM.
In her speech entitled Biotechnology Approaches in Controlling Diseases in Orange and Bananas, she said that genetic manipulation control of host plants is able to produce pest resistant crops. Also produced is the genetic manipulation against its natural enemies, antagonistic remains, and biological community structure resulting in biotic and abiotic environment which are able to suppress the identification development more effectively. "The most significant constraint on the production of fruits in the field is the pest organisms identification problem. The problem caused the decline of production in quality and quantity," said the wife of Achmad Himawan, M.Si, and the mother of Hascarya Nur Lutfi, S.P.
In her opinion, a variety of plant diseases whose pathogen identity was previously unknown as it could not be isolated through artificial medium was finally able to be revealed by using molecular identification techniques. Investigation of DNA base-conserve sequences, such as 16S ribosome for prokaryotic bodies or 18S ribosome for eukaryotic bodies, Gena microsatellites in bacteria and fungi, or Gena proteins coat on the virus cluster, can be used to identify the bodies that can not be cultured in artificial medium.
At the end of her speech, she said that the selection and assembly of the species/cultivar of oranges in Indonesia should immediately be increased, especially with the spread of pests that is difficult to control. Healthy species/cultivar that grow quickly will be able to compete with the relatively slow development of Las in the host tissue. “Rootstock combination with mandarin orange/tangerine as scions which was done in vitro at the Faculty of Agriculture UGM showed that there is a more promising rootstock to replace the Rough Lemon rootstock type (RL) and Citrus Junos (CJ) which are normally used in Indonesia," she explained.