390 pages, colour plates, illus.
Evolutionary biologists, geneticists, molecular biologists, and anthropologists address concerns that we are losing the diversity of crop plants that provide food for most of the world. The contributor to this new volume discuss how economic development, loss of heirloom varieties and wild ancestors, and modern agricultural techniques have endangered the genetic diversity needed to keep agricultural crops vital and capable of adaptation. The contributors review the utilization of molecular techniques to understand crop evolution and explore current research on various crop plants, including maize, sunflower, avocado, sugarcane, and wheat. The chapters provide a background for understanding many recent discoveries concerning human migration and farming practices that have influenced the genetics of our modern foods.
About the Authors
Timothy J. Motley is associate professor in the Molecular Systematics Program at The New York Botanical Garden.
Nyree Zerega is the director of the Plant Biology and Conservation Program at Northwestern University and the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Hugh Cross is a postdoctoral researcher at the National Herbarium of the Netherlands, Leiden University.
A fascinating collection of cutting-edge analyses. -- Charles R. Clement Economic Botany Vol 60, No3
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