Genes, Crops and the Environment

Genes, Crops and the Environment

by John Holden, James Peacock, Trevor Williams
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521437377

ISBN-13: 9780521437370

Pub. Date: 02/28/2011

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

This book is a non-technical introduction to the conservation and use of the genetic diversity of crop plants, for the non-specialist public interested in conservation issues, for policy makers and for students of agricultural, biological and environmental sciences.  See more details below

Overview

This book is a non-technical introduction to the conservation and use of the genetic diversity of crop plants, for the non-specialist public interested in conservation issues, for policy makers and for students of agricultural, biological and environmental sciences.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521437370
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
02/28/2011
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.43(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
List of abbreviations
1Man and plants: a relationship in crisis1
Wild plants and plant communities are constantly changing2
Genetic variation and sex are the keys to adaptive change3
Natural ecosystems are being destroyed by human population increase and industrialisation4
Public awareness of environmental destruction is growing6
Genetic diversity of crop plants is at risk9
2The genetic resources of crop plants11
What are the genetic resources of crop plants?11
Crop plants and human societies evolved together12
Crops evolved from wild species15
Dispersion of crops depends on adaptation to new habitats28
Plant breeding has resulted in genetic erosion as well as crop improvement30
Collecting becomes the concern of international organisations35
3Genes to the rescue37
Genetic resources provide solutions to disease epidemics38
Genes control potato cyst eelworm39
Rice: high-yielding varieties bring problems41
Wild species are important in sweet-potato breeding45
Shorter wheats: bigger yields47
Host-parasite relations: an evolutionary battleground51
Genetic resources are the raw material for the creation of new crops54
New crops are needed for different purposes60
4Genetic diversity: what needs to be collected?62
Seeds are ideal natural structures to collect and conserve63
Genetic diversity has different levels of organisation64
Which types of genetic diversity should we collect?65
Priorities in seed collecting69
Present status of collections70
Further collecting requires collaborative action77
The collecting of vegetative material is sometimes necessary78
5Safeguarding genetic diversity81
Collected germplasm has two purposes82
Seeds are naturally adapted for storage83
The costs of long-term seed storage can be reduced83
Some species cannot be stored as seed85
Ex-situ seed storage has its critics88
Is the proper place to conserve genetic diversity in its natural habitat?92
6Managing genetic diversity100
Why should management be necessary?101
Management for security103
Good management promotes the use of genetic resources115
Core collections: a benefit to curators and breeders121
Genetic Resources Accession Assessment Score (GRAAS): a management tool for curators125
Crop germplasm networks126
7Filling the gaps in the science base129
Where are the gaps in the science base?130
Defining a research programme for the support of crop genetic resources138
How can we ensure that the necessary research is done?139
The application of research results: technology transfer141
8Rising to the challenge143
The conservation of crop genetic diversity is part of biosphere protection144
Organisational issues145
Food production and the environment150
Population control152
References153
Index157

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