Plant biotechnology offers important opportunities for agriculture, horticulture, and the pharmaceutical and food industry by generating transgenic varieties with altered properties. This is likely to change farming practice and reduce the potential negative impact of plant production on the environment. This volume shows the worldwide advances and potential benefits of plant genetic engineering focusing on the third millennium. The authors discuss the production of transgenic plants resistant to biotic and abiotic stress, the improvement of plant qualities, the use of transgenic plants as bioreactors, and the use of plant genomics for genetic improvement and gene cloning. Unique to this book is the integrative point of view taken between plant genetic engineering and socioeconomic and environmental issues. Considerations of regulatory processes to release genetically modified plants, as well as the public acceptance of the transgenic plants are also discussed. This book will be welcomed by biotechnologists, researchers and students alike working in the biological sciences. It should also prove useful to everyone dedicated to the study of the socioeconomic and environmental impact of the new technologies, while providing recent scientific information on the progress and perspectives of the production of genetically modified plants. The work is dedicated to Professor Marc van Montagu.
G.P. Bolwell, University of London, UK ...This is a publication relating to a conference held in Havana, Cuba in December 1999. The book was published early in 2000 which is commendable given the timing of the conference and ensures that this volume is timely and topical. It gives an accurate account of that seminal meeting since the reviewer had the privilege to be present and be educated on the broader issues outside the excellent science presented. These issues relating to the ethical, economic and risk to the environment of GM are now global. Yet, this was a meeting that was a passionate reaffirmation of the reasons why this technology was developed in the first instance, global food security being major among them. Some of the applications discussed have been already used in the debate against the detractors, including the now well publicised work of Luis Herrera-Estrella in engineering aluminium resistance into crops to allow growth on marginal lands in poor countries. If any phytochemists need reassurance on how to approach a debate with anti-GM lobbyists they can find much ammunition between the covers. Phytochemistry, Vol. 56, No. 115 A.D. Arencibia ...illustrates some of the potential benefits from plant biotechnology for the Third Millennium. ...All contributors are actively engaged in research in plant genetic engineering and several are concerned directly with its commercial applications. CAB Abstracts
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