Maize is used in an endless list of products that are directly or indirectly related to human nutrition and food security. Maize is grown in producer farms, farmers depend on genetically improved cultivars, and maize breeders develop improved maize cultivars for farmers. Nikolai I. Vavilov defined plant breeding as plant evolution directed by man. Among crops, maize is one of the most successful examples for breeder-directed evolution. Maize is a cross-pollinated species with unique and separate male and female organs allowing techniques from both self and cross-pollinated crops to be utilized. As a consequence, a diverse set of breeding methods can be utilized for the development of various maize cultivar types for all economic conditions (e.g., improved populations, inbred lines, and their hybrids for different types of markets). This volume, as part of the "Handbook of Plant Breeding" series, aims to increase awareness of the relative value and impact of maize breeding for food, feed, and fuel security.
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