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This book provides the scientific basis for assessing the likelihood of gene flow among 20 important crops and their wild relatives. This comprehensive review is required reading for anyone who needs to make informed decisions on the implications of planting genetically modified crops in the vicinity of their wild counterparts. The crops discussed in the book include both major staple crops and minor crops that are nonetheless critical to food security. Among the crops reviewed are barley, corn, cotton, cowpea, wheat, pearl millet, and rice.
One chapter is devoted to each of the crops, detailing crop-specific information and relevant factors for assessing the probability of gene flow. The crop-specific reviews provide insights into the possible ecological implications of gene escape. For each crop, a full-colour world map shows the modeled distributions of crops and wild relatives. These maps offer readers, at a glance, a means of evaluating areas of possible gene flow. The authors classify the areas of overlap into three "gene-flow categories" with respect to the possibility of genetic exchange.
The authors present their findings systematically, without bias and judgment. The result is a book that will promote well-informed decision making and the conservation of wild relatives of crops. The book is particularly relevant to agriculture in developing countries, where most crop biodiversity is found and where current knowledge on biodiversity conservation is limited.
Given the ecological concerns associated with genetically modified crops, this reference will be essential for everyone working to feed a growing world population while preserving crop biodiversity.