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Botany - Historical Perspective of Biotechnology | 12th Botany : Chapter 4 : Principles and Processes of Biotechnology

Chapter: 12th Botany : Chapter 4 : Principles and Processes of Biotechnology

Historical Perspective of Biotechnology

The major historical events for the development of Biotechnology, as an interdisciplinary field with multidisciplinary applications are listed below:

Historical Perspective

Before Common Era

6000 BC – 3000 BC – Bread making, fermentation of fruit juices and plant exudates to produce alcoholic beverages using yeast.


Pre – 20th Century

1770 – Antoine Lavoisier gave chemical basis of alcoholic fermentation.

1798 – Edward Jenner uses first viral vaccine to inoculate a child from smallpox.

1838 – Protein discovered, named and recorded by Gerardus Johannes Mulder and Jons Jacob Berzelius.

1871 – Ernst Hoppe, Seyler discovered enzyme invertase, which is still used for making artificial sweeteners.

1876 – Louis Pasteur identified role of microorganisms in fermentation.


20th Century

1919 – The term biotechnology was coined by Karl Ereky

1928 – Discovery of Penicillin by Alexander Fleming

1941 – Experiment with Neurospora crassa resulting in one gene one enzyme hypothesis by George Beadle and Edward Tatum.

1944 – Identification of DNA as the genetic material Avery–MacLeod–McCarty

1953 – Discovery of double helix structure of DNA by James Watson and Francis Crick.

1972 – Discovery of Restriction enzymes by Arber, Smith and Nathans.

1973 – Fragmentation of DNA-combined with Plasmid DNA, r-DNA technology - Genetic engineering -Modified gene by Stanley Cohen, Annie Chang, Robert Helling and Herbert Boyer.

1975 – Production of Monoclonal antibodies by Kohler and Milstein

1976 – Sanger and Gilbert developed techniques to sequence DNA

1978 – Production of human insulin in E.Coli

1979 – Development of Artificial gene – functioning within the living cells by H.G. Khorana

1982 – U.S approved humulin ( human insulin) the first pharmaceutical product of rDNA technology, for human use.

1983 – Use of Ti plasmids to genetically transform plants

1986 – Development of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology by Kary Mullis.

1987 – Gene transfer by biolistic transformation

1992 – First chromosomes of yeast is sequenced

1994 – U.S approved the first Genetically Modified food: Flavr Savr tomato.

1997 – The first transgenic animal, mammalian sheep, Dolly developed by nuclear cloning by Ian Wilmet.

2000 – First plant Genome of Arabidopsis thaliana sequenced


21st Century

2001 – Human genome Project creates a draft of the human genome sequence.

2002 – First crop plant genome sequenced in Oryza sativa

2003 – Human genome project is completed, providing information on the locations and sequence of human genes on all 46 chromosomes.

2010 – Sir Robert G. Edwards developed in vitro fertilization in animal.

2016 – Stem cells injected into stroke patients re-enable patient to walk – Stem cell therapy

2017 – Blood stem cells grown in lab.

2018 – James Allison and TasukuHonjo discovered protein found in immune cells. This found a new role in cancer therapy.

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