Bioscience for crop improvement
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CTA. 1987. Bioscience for crop improvement. Spore 9. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44664
'Bioscience in crop improvement, International symposium, 1-6 July 1986 Monograph series, N° 5. Royal Agricultural Society of England National Agricultural Centre Stoneleigh. Kenilworth Warwickshire UK
The means by which crops can be improved are many and varied. Plant breeding is designed not only to increase yields but also to develop varieties that can thrive under environmental stress (such as drought or salinity) and also resist major pests and diseases. Crop quality is a highly variable characteristic. It is influenced by both the treatment of the crop during its growth and storage and by any preceeding genetic manipulation. The rising demand for high-quality food has also Increased the demand for plants with specific characteristics that can be obtained through bioscience. Over the last twenty years plant micropropagation has graduated from academic laboratories to industrial complexes. The advantage of micropropagation is the disease-free nature of the material that can be planted. The Royal Agricultural Society of England held a symposium last year on crop improvement with special reference to bioscience which brought together researchers from the world's most important plant genetic research centres. The discussions ranged from the philosophical: 'plant breeding is technology rather than science' to the practical: 'many genebanks In the tropics face rampant genetic erosion' because of a lack of refrigerated storerooms, trained personnel and financial support. The collection, preservation and distribution of germplasm were presented as a central working theme of the 13 research centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Other participants discussed chromosome manipulation, genetic modification, environmental change, and cell and tissue culture. Researchers also considered ethical and theoretical questions such as: How far can bioscience go ? Can the future include a scenario in which non-plant protein will be produced by plants ? For further information, see: 'Bioscience in crop improvement, International symposium, 1-6 July 1986 Monograph series, N° 5. Royal Agricultural Society of England National Agricultural Centre Stoneleigh. Kenilworth Warwickshire UK