Plants, Genes, and Agriculture: Sustainability Through Biotechnology (Paperback)

Plants, Genes, and Agriculture: Sustainability Through Biotechnology By Maarten J. Chrispeels (Editor), Paul Gepts (Editor) Cover Image
By Maarten J. Chrispeels (Editor), Paul Gepts (Editor)
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Presenting and integrating information from many disciplines, this book invites readers to consider the complexity of feeding humanity and increasing food production sustainably. Topics covered include:

-- the development, physiology, and nutrition of plants
-- human nutrition and food safety
-- photosynthesis and energy transformations
-- genetics, molecular biology, and genomics, including the techniques of genetic transformation (gene silencing, gene editing with CRISPR) used in modern crop breeding
-- crop domestication and plant breeding
-- soil ecosystems
-- the biotic (animal pests, diseases, and weeds) and abiotic (drought, flooding, temperature extremes, and soil degradation) stresses that limit crop production
-- technological advances and how new innovations (equipment, chemical products, and improved plant varieties) reach farmers and eventually affect what we eat; also discusses legal aspects (e.g., patents) relevant to agricultural innovations
-- plants as sources of pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals

Although publicized in the controversies surrounding "genetically modified organisms" (GMOs), the applications of modern biotechnology to agriculture extend far beyond GMOs, and include crop improvements that rely on knowledge of the plant's genomes and its analysis by bioinformatics. This unifying theme of the text is stressed in coverage of a number of issues that appear throughout the chapters, including:

-- how crop plant breeders look for specific traits to solve practical problems
-- genetic engineering of crops as a useful way to supplement conventional plant breeding
-- the nature of agribusiness in industrialized countries
-- the vital contributions of developing countries and their smallhold farmers, and the unique challenges facing them

Challenging and controversial topics such as the safety of pesticides and GMOs, the increasing demand for animal products and the stresses this puts on agricultural output, organic farming and foods, and patenting new crop varieties are dealt with in a balanced way, inviting teachers and students to consider all the implications of these serious questions.

About the Author

Maarten J. Chrispeels is affiliated with the University of California, San Diego. Paul Gepts is affiliated with the University of California, Davis.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781605356846
ISBN-10: 1605356840
Publisher: Sinauer Associates Is an Imprint of Oxford Un
Publication Date: November 15th, 2017
Pages: 650
Language: English