Most of the research on crop biotechnology currently underway in India is being supported by the Government and the DBT has been the main agency amongst government departments to support research endeavours in this area. The DBT has supported over the last 12 years a large number of research projects which deal the development of in vitro regeneration and genetic transformation protocols of important crop species grown in India, the development of transgenics with genes of agronomic importance and several projects dealing with basic research in plant molecular biology.
Crop biotechnology, which broadly includes areas of development of transgenic crops, structural and functional genomics and marker-assisted breeding, could provide us with the vital breakthroughs to achieve improvements in both quality and quantity in a sustainable manner. With the advent of techniques of genetic engineering in the early seventies, the natural barrier to gene exchange has been removed. Sequences from varied source like bacteria, viruses and eukaryotic systems can be transferred to plants to develop transgenic crop varieties.