Traditional Biotechnology

Traditional biotechnology

Traditional biotechnology includes a range of techniques that have been traditionally used by mankind to alter food and other substances. Some of these have been used successfully without the understanding of the science behind them.


Fermentation uses bacteria or fungi such as yeast to change food. Human beings have been using fermentation since time immemorial to make a range of goods.   Read more >

Mushroom production

Human beings have been collecting mushrooms from the wild as a source of food for thousands of years. Nowadays people are growing various species of mushrooms for use as food and for medicinal purposes. Read More >

Traditional selection

This is another application that has been used by mankind over millennia. The farmer examines a population of individuals that show variation for a specific trait. From these, those that meet particular criteria are selected and kept aside to grow a new population which is then maintained. Read more >

Traditional breeding and selection

A slightly more advanced application is whereby the breeder selects one or a few individuals as above but then crosses these with other individuals in order to incorporate a new trait. Read more >

Plant tissue culture / in-vitro culture

In this application, bits of plant tissue referred to as the explant are grown in laboratory conditions on an artificial medium containing hormones and vitamins. The starting material can be obtained from the leaf, stem, root, buds etc. Read more >

Mutation breeding/ mutagenesis

In this application, plants are exposed to irradiation sources with the intent of inducing mutations. A mutation is a change in the genetic material of an organism.  Read more >


The term is used by scientists to refer to a range of applications in which copies of a cell or organism are produced from a single ancestor. Clones are therefore genetically identical to each other. Read more >

Molecular Marker assisted selection (MMAS)

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs). A range of technologies have been Assisted Reproductive Technologies developed and applied in animals. Read more >

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs)

A range of technologies have been Assisted Reproductive Technologies developed and applied in animals.  Read more >