Genetics is the branch of biology which deals with the study of heredity and variation. Heredity is the process of transforming the traits from parents to offspring. Whereas the variation deals with the dissimilarities or differences of offsprings from their ancestors. So shortly speaking genetics deals with how characters are being transformed from parents to their offsprings and in doing so what are certain processes which cause variation due to which the differences arise in the progenies of the same parents. This is due to variation that there are huge differences in human beings and also there exists a large amount of variation within a certain crop species.
First major breakthrough in the field of genetics came in the age of Gregor Mendel, a Morovian Monk who lived in the 19th century. He made a huge contribution in the field of genetics. He was basically a plant geneticist. He was dealing with the Peas plants and worked out two laws of inheritance including Mendels law of segregation and the law of independent assortment which are being very famous and strongly accepted in the scientific community now a days as well.
Genetics has been playing role in the welfare of human being since very beginning of the 19th century. There are certain fields through which genetics is contributing in uplifting the living standard as well as maintaining the human life on this earth by playing role in providing food, feed, clothing and shelter.
Genetics has played a significant role in the meeting the dietary requirements of the human being through improving the heredity material of the crop plants. By using the knowledge of the genetics plant breeding has boosted up the yield of the crop plants including the wheat, maize, rice, barely, soya bean, sorghum and millets. The strategy of the plant breeding is creating the variability than after creating variation than selection is done for selecting the superior combinations which are tested in two or three years and then are released as variety if these are best suited to the environment and giving good yield. The most important step of this whole procedure is the creating of variability which is basically the subject matter of genetics. There are a lot of ways of creating the variability including the hybridization, mutations and transgenic plants all this is possible through the use of the knowledge of the genetics.
Genetics has played the significant role in increasing the crop potential and making them better adopted in the stress environment. There are increasing threats to the crop production due to certain abiotic including the temperature, water and the salinity stress. These are the major threats to the crop production due to climate change.
By using the principles of genetics we are producing the fortified transgenic plants in which we are adding the missing ingredients which are actually lacking in that particular crop. Transgenic rice has been produced which is fortified for iron production and also the wheat fortification against the zinc is being done and there are numerous such examples in which genetics is playing its role.
Medical genetics is the one of the emerging branches, in this branch of genetics official deals with the identification and treatments of the certain heredity disorders. There are certain disorders including birth defects, dysmorphology, skeletal dysplasia, connective tissue disorder, teratogens, parental diagnosis and cancer genetics.
Genetic counseling is providing information about genetic conditions, risk in other family members and the genetic testing. Genetic counselors are non-physician members of the medical field which have specialization in the family risk managements and counseling of the patients regarding the genetic disorders. The current practices in this field are genetic testing of the inborn fetus for the possible genetic disorders, the management of inborn errors of metabolism, skeletal dysplasia or lysosomal diseases and prenatal testing for the possible risks of pregnancy.
In the field of fiber technology genetics has made a significant contribution and is making us unable to meet the daily increasing demand of the fiber. Among fiber crops cotton is the most promising one. There has been a significant increase in the production of cotton by increasing its genetic potential. Scientists (plant breeders) in the agriculture field are making huge contribution through the knowledge of genetics. There exists the genetic potential for improving the no of bolls per plant, no of leaves per plant and sympodial branches. All these traits are positively correlated with the yield of the cotton, there exists huge genetic potential for improving these traits in the germplasm. Plant breeders through the knowledge of genetics are improving the genetic makeup of the cotton plant. Along with improving the yield of the plant the other major concern is the quality of the fiber. Certain traits are indication of the quality of the fibers these includes the fiber fineness, fiber length, fiber strength and micronaire value.
On concluding remarks genetics is contributing significantly to uplift the living standards of the human beings and along with that also providing the basic necessities of life. There has been contribution of the genetics in increasing the food production, maintaining the health of the community through medical genetics as well as providing the clothing through fiber genetics there has been multiple fields in which genetics is helping the human being. In short the genetics has promise of improving the living standard of human being. There exists a huge potential for improvement in this field and geneticists are working on it.