Gene Banks and the World's Food
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CTA. 1988. Gene Banks and the World's Food. Spore 13. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44809
Gene Banks and the World s Food / Plucknett, D Letal., 1987. Princeton Universitv Press. Princeton Available at USD 35 from: PUP 41 William Street Princeton, NJ 08540 USA
In just twelve years' time the world will require levels of agricultural production some 60% greater than the harvest of 1980. Many people pin their hopes of meeting this spiralling demand on modern technology and, in particular, on genetic engineering. At the same time, many ex perts are becoming increasingly concerned that the options for the future are being narrowed by the erosion of one of our most important heritages, the genetic diversity of our crop plants and their wild relations. In depleting these resources, the experts fear that we are destroying the very raw materials so important in future genetic improvements. Gene Banks and the World's Food addresses this problem directly and has been written by four leading authorities on the subject. The book looks in some detail at a number of cases of crop failure directly attributable to genetic simplification - a problem that has occured in many areas of the world and has affected food, beverage and other industrial crops. Other sections of the book outline the history of germplasm preservation and exchange and give an up-todate report on the status and locations of gene banks, also listing the current germplasm holding by crop. Examples are also given of how these reserves are being used to develop better crop varieties for the benefit of people around the world. Market requirements can also reduce diversity, modern grain processing demanding homogenous samples in large quantities to suit the latest requirements of milling and baking, malting and brewing, in the case of wheat and barley and similar constraints apply in the processing of beverages, vegetable oils and fruit for canning and freezing. With its readable, wide-ranging and authoritative approach, Gene Banks and the World's Food, presents a forceful warning of the hazards that may be ahead, alongside a more positive summary of the enormous potential for the future if gene banks are given the prominence and support they deserve. It is valuable reading for all those involved in meeting the demand on agriculture towards the end of the century. Plucknett, D Letal., 1987. Gene Banks and the World s Food. Princeton Universitv Press. Princeton Available at USD 35 from: PUP 41 William Street Princeton, NJ 08540 USA