The impact of molecular genetics on plant breeding and, consequently, agri culture, is potentially enonnous. Understanding and directing this potential im pact is crucial because of the urgent issues that we face concerning sustainable agriculture for a growing world population as well as conservation of the world's rapidly dwindling plant genetic resources. This book is largely devoted to the applications of genetic markers that have been developed by the application of molecular genetics to practical problems. These are known as DNA markers. They have gained a certain notoriety in foren sics, but can be used in a variety of practical situations. We are going through a period of accelerated breakthroughs in molecular ge netics. Therefore, the authors of each chapter were encouraged to speculate about both current bottlenecks and the future of their subfields of research. We can cer tainly apply molecular genetic tools and approaches to help resolve crucial ge netic resource problems that face humanity. However, little has been discussed with respect to when or how we should use such tools, nor to who specifically should use them; therefore, social and economic analyses are important in the planning stages of projects that are aimed at practical results.
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Table of ContentsI: Genetics and Breeding.- 1. Genetics of Polyploids.- 2. Validation Strategies for QTL Mapping.- 3. Complex Trait Dissection in Forest Trees Using Molecular Markers.- 4. The Use of Comparative Genome Mapping in the Identification, Cloning and Manipulation of Important Plant Genes.- 5. The Potential Impacts of Apomixis: A Molecular Genetics Approach.- 6. The Role of Meiotic Recombination in Generating Novel Genetic Variability.- II: Evolution and Phylogenetics.- 7. Molecular Markers in Plant Conservation Genetics.- 8. Identifying Links Between Genotype and Phenotype Using Marker Loci and Candidate Genes.- 9. Integrating Genetics, Phylogenetics and Developmental Biology.- 10. Molecular Variation and the Delimitation of Species.- III: Microorganisms in Agriculture: Two Examples.- 11. Application of the Polymerase Chain Reaction to the Detection of Plant Pathogens.- 12. Molecular Approaches to Understanding and Manipulating Field Ecology of Microorganisms in Agriculture.- IV: Tools: Software and Hardware.- 13. Informatics and Genomic Research.- 14. Instrumentation for Automated Molecular Marker Acquisition and Analysis.- V: The Experience of Molecular Marker-Assisted Breeding.- 15. Molecular Marker-Assisted Breeding in a Company Environment.- 16. Molecular Biology and Traditional Breeding Applied to the Improvement of Maize Nutritional Quality.- VI: Examples of Social and Economic Impact of New Technologies.- 17. Economic Impact of Molecular Genetics on International Forestry.- 18. Molecular Anthropology of Cassava Cyanogenesis.- 19. Structural Adjustment and Biotechnological Demand in South America: The Case of Brazil.