Since the 1870s, hybrid plants have been produced to use desirable qualities to increase food production and quality. Organic chemistry identifies desirable plant qualities, translates those qualities to successive hybrids, and maximizes nitrogen uptake with chemical fertilizers.
BASF biotechnology lab: the fine art of gene discovery
Genetically modified rice plant: better, healthier seeds
The genetically modified potato Amflora produces a special starch with potential applications in the paper, textile and adhesive industries.
These advances led to the so-described ‘Green Revolution', beginning when Mexico first became self-sufficient in wheat production in 1943. Much of Asia's population was being fed by using new hybrid plants and soil nutrient chemistry by 1964.
American farmers are now embracing new kinds of hybrid plants, such as maize and potatoes, that secrete a pesticide in their leaves and stems.