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Agricultural Biotechnology in China: Origins and Prospects

By: Valerie J Karplus and Xing Wang Deng

140 pages, 30 illus


Hardback | May 2007 | #165853 | ISBN-13: 9780387711386
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £109.99 $144/€122 approx

About this book

The authors begin by describing the origins of China's earliest agrarian civilizations and how agricultural technology historically contributed to the emergence, rise, and fall of states and dynasties. The book then focuses on how post-industrial advances in chemistry and biology led to the development of technologies (including high-yielding seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers) that ushered in a period of expanding global harvests in the mid-20th Century known as the Green Revolution. The political, economic, and social factors that influenced the patterns of adoption as well as the successes and shortcomings of Green Revolution technologies in China are then explored in detail.

The authors then introduce transgenic crops - the origins, tools and techniques, and initial patterns of market acceptance or rejection worldwide - describe in depth why, where, and how research on transgenic crops first began in China. This section evaluates the effectiveness of policies that promoted science and technology development as part of the post-1978 reform agenda, and suggests why support for agricultural biotechnology-and transgenic crops in particular-was included alongside land and market reforms. The authors move on to questions related to adoption of transgenic crops in China, looking first at how structural changes in the seed industry and the introduction of value-added varieties are changing age-old relationships between farmers and seed providers. In the final chapters, the authors present how well suited transgenic crops may be to meeting persistent and emerging challenges facing China's agricultural sector today.


Preface.- Introduction.- From Seeds to EmpiresChina's Long Agricultural History.- Modern Science on the Farm The Green Revolution.- Transformation in China's Agriculture in the Twentieth Century.- Agricultural Biotechnology: New Tools for Ancient Practices.- Agricultural Biotechnology Takes Root in China.- From Lab to Field.- China's First Transgenic Crops.- Biosafety and China's Regulatory Policy.- Looking to the Future: Trends in Plant Sciences and Agricultural Biotechnology Research.- Conclusion.- Works Cited.- Index.

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Valerie J. Karplus graduated from Yale University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Political Science. She lived in China for two years, where she researched the development and impact of agricultural biotechnology in China while based at the China Agricultural University (2002-2003) and National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing (2005-2006). Currently she is pursuing graduate study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Xing Wang Deng is the Daniel C. Eaton Professor of Plant Biology at Yale University. His scientific work focuses on the molecular and genomic basis for plant development and agricultural biotechnology. He also serves as the co-director of the National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing and the founding director of the Peking-Yale Joint Research Center of Plant Molecular Genetics and Agro-biotechnology. He has led a research team that has published well over a hundred peer-reviewed articles in his area of research.

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