While there has been great progress in the development of plant breeding over the last decade, the selection of suitable plants for human consumption began over 13,000 years ago. Since the Neolithic era, the cultivation of plants has progressed in Asia Minor, Asia, Europe, and ancient America, each specific to the locally wild plants as well as the ecological and social conditions.
A handy reference for knowing our past, understanding the present, and creating the future, this book provides a comprehensive treatment of the development of crop improvement methods over the centuries. It features an extensive historical treatment of development, including influential individuals in the field, plant cultivation in various regions, techniques used in the Old World, and cropping in ancient America. The advances of scientific plant breeding in the twentieth century is extensively explored, including efficient selection methods, hybrid breeding, induced polyploidy, mutation research, biotechnology, and genetic manipulation. Finally, this book presents information on approaches to the sustainability of breeding and to cope with climatic changes as well as the growing world population.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 2 Plant Breeding Since 10,000 Years BC
Chapter 3 MENDEL’s Contribution to Genetics and Breeding
Chapter 4 Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering
Chapter 5 “Farmerceuticals,” “Nutraceuticals,” and Other Exotic Characters
Chapter 6 Intellectual Property Rights, Plant Variety Protection, and Patenting
Chapter 7 Germplasm Maintenance
Chapter 8 Future Developments
Chapter 9 In the Service of CERES・A Gallery of Breeders, Geneticists, and Persons Associated with Crop Improvement and Plant Breeding
Rolf H. J. Schlegel, Ph.D., D.Sc., is Professor of Cytogenetics and Applied Genetics, with over thirty years of experiences in research and teaching of advanced genetics and plant breeding in Germany and Bulgaria. Prof. Schlegel is the author of more than 150 research papers and other scientific contributions, co-coordinator of international research projects, and has been a scientific consultant at the Bulgarian Academy of Agricultural Sciences for several years. He received his Master’s degree in Agriculture and Plant Breeding, his Ph.D. and D.Sc. in Genetics and Cytogenetics from the Martin-Luther University Halle/S., Germany. Later he became Head of Laboratory of Chromosome Manipulation and the Department of Applied Genetics and Genetic Resources at the Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben, Germany, and the Head of the Genebank at the Institute of Wheat and Sunflower Research, General Toshevo/Varna, as well as at the Institute of Plant Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Sofia, Bulgaria. He was working as R & D director in a private company in Germany, and is now retired.