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Types of Biotechnology

Types of Biotechnology

In this article we will study about Green Biotechnology, Blue Biotechnology, Red Biotechnology, White Biotechnology, Yellow biotechnology, Grey biotechnology etc. Biotechnology, a field within biology, focuses on employing various technologies to produce beneficial products for human welfare. It harnesses microorganisms, plant and animal cells, and their components to develop processes and goods. At its core are two key principles: genetic engineering, which entails direct manipulation of DNA and RNA, and creating a sterile environment in chemical engineering processes to foster the growth of specific microbes.

The biotechnological process typically involves three main steps: developing recombinant DNA, cloning desired genes, and transferring these genes into suitable host organisms. Biotechnology encompasses diverse sectors including medical, agricultural (or green), marine (blue), pharmaceutical (red), industrial, environmental, and more.

Green Biotechnology

  • It’s used for agricultural purposes
  • The technology is used to make or develop genetically modified plants or the plants tolerant to pests and droughts etc


  • To improve the nutritional quality, quantity, and production economics of plants
  • It involves implanting foreign genes to plant economically important species

It contains three main areas:

  • Tissue culture of plants
  • Plant genetic engineering
  • Plant molecular marker-assisted breeding, Example – BT Cotton

Example of green biotechnology 

  • Biotechnology enables the development of pest-resistant crops by imbuing them with natural anti-pest properties, bolstering their resilience against pest infestations.
  • Plant and animal breeding entails selectively pairing organisms with desirable traits to propagate offspring that exhibit those favorable characteristics.

Blue Biotechnology

  • Deployment of cellular biological methods in marine and freshwater organisms raises concerns.
  • Utilization of these organisms and their derivatives serves various purposes, including industrial applications.
  • Notably, there’s a significant advancement in identifying and developing new active ingredients sourced from marine organisms.
  • One example is the use of Chitosan, a sugar extracted from shrimp and crab shells, in wound dressings for bandaging wounds.

Red Biotechnology

  • Red biotechnology, also known as Biopharma, is a specialized sector within biotechnology focused on therapeutic and pharmaceutical applications.
  • Its primary objective is to develop treatments such as vaccines, antibiotics, regenerative therapies, gene therapy, and stem cell therapy.
  • Red biotechnology plays a crucial role in addressing medical challenges by harnessing biological processes for therapeutic purposes.
  • Through extensive research and development, it aims to create innovative solutions for diseases and medical conditions.
  • The field of red biotechnology continues to evolve, driving advancements in healthcare and improving patient outcomes.

White Biotechnology

  • Pertains to Industrial Biotechnology, applied across diverse industrial processes.
  • Emphasizes designing processes and products with minimal resource consumption, prioritizing energy efficiency.


  • Chemical production
  • The design and production of new plastics/textiles
  • The identification of new sustainable energy sources such as biofuels

Grey Biotechnology

  • The environmental application targets biodiversity preservation and pollutant removal.
  • Microorganisms and plants are utilized to isolate and dispose of various substances like heavy metals and hydrocarbons.
  • An example is MicroGen Biotech, an SME based in Carlow, aiding in the cleanup of economically contaminated land in China.

Yellow Biotechnology

  • Insect biotechnology encompasses the utilization of active ingredients or genes found in insects for research and practical applications in agriculture and medicine, aligning it with both green (plants) and red (animals) biotechnology sectors.
  • This field involves the identification and characterization of specific genes or compounds within insects, which are then harnessed for various purposes, such as enhancing crop yield, pest control, or medicinal advancements.
  • Examples of insect biotechnology applications include the production of food and beverages through fermentation processes, akin to the creation of wine, cheese, and beer.
  • It represents an innovative branch of agriculture focused on leveraging the natural resources within insects to contribute to the bio-economy, expanding the spectrum of available natural substances for various industries.

These Are What Yellow Biotechnology Includes

  • Minimising environmental exploitation from meat production
  • Modification of plant toxins
  • Extracting useful insects products

Future of Yellow Biotechnology

  • Science is making revelations and creations each and every day. Each passing day, we learn about another story that could change the way we live and think someday. Yellow biotechnology also has similar possibilities
  • Yellow Biotechnology sometimes means applying biotechnological techniques for taking advantage of creepy crawly-derived molecules, cells, organs – as products for using it in the fields of medicine, plant protection, or manufacturing


Biotechnology encompasses a vast field within biology, leveraging both living organisms and technology to produce beneficial products for human welfare. It operates on two core principles: genetic engineering, which involves direct manipulation of an organism’s DNA and RNA, and maintaining a sterile environment in chemical engineering processes to cultivate specific microbes needed for product generation. Biotechnology spans various branches, including medical, agricultural (or green), marine (blue), pharmaceutical (red), industrial, and environmental biotechnology. Green biotechnology, for instance, focuses on enhancing agriculture by developing genetically modified or pest/drought-resistant plants. Similarly, blue biotechnology utilizes cellular biological methods for marine applications.

Read also: Science Technology

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