Agricultural Research Ebooks Catalog
The wide field of renewable resources represents a further challenge for plant biotechnology and modern agriculture. Petrol oil and many mineral oil-derived chemicals as well as coal are to be replaced by plant biomass or plant-derived raw materials, various chemicals, biopolymers, and all sorts of high-molecular or low-molecular products formed by and isolated from plants. Such plant production requires little if any exhaustable energy resources.
Man has moved from historical plant domestication, which took place as an integral part of human cultural development, to plant breeding, determined by Mendelian genetics, to plant engineering, determined by the rapid recent development of molecular biology. It must be kept in mind that all cultivated plants have emerged in a historical perspective, adapting the landraces to human farming systems. This has taken thousands of years, the first signs of cultivated plants dating back more than 10,000 years. Only the past 100 years of plant breeding has been based on Mendelian genetics. During this period, yields of our most important crop plants, rice, maize, and wheat, have been doubled, doubled, and doubled again When the green revolution came to Mexico less than 50 years ago, Mexican farmers grew 600-800 kg of wheat per hectare. With the integration of new wheat cultivars, resistant to lodging, into new farming systems, including irrigation, fertilization, and pest and disease...
An alternative preferred by producers of phytochemicals is the cultivation of medicinal plants by conventional farming. Conventional farming permits the sustainable production of plant material in the amount required for phytochemical production, provides independence of commercial plant material suppliers, and allows continuous improvement of production levels and economics by breeding and selection of superior genotypes. Disadvan-
For example, in a programme in Kenya, several communities have assessed and prioritized health and nutrition problems, analysed their causes, and started remedial activities. These include community education through participatory theatre, training farmers in sustainable agriculture and teaching school children how to feed young children.
It is now accepted that genomic and proteomic technologies are generic, breaking down previous barriers across the whole of biology (from medicine to microbiology to agricultural research). Institutions now expect previously small groups to interact and decide on how to best expend precious resources, and granting bodies require consolidation so that funding can be effective. The challenge has been to support 'big science' initiatives, while at the same time leaving open the opportunity for the small creative group to disrupt how the world is viewed.
Herbicides are extensively used for the purpose of crop cultivation and still remain as an important strategy for the commercial agriculture. However, the widespread use of herbicides has resulted in both point source and non-point source contamination of shallow groundwater and surface waters, which became a major issue and a serious environmental problem 1 . Phytoremediation is an alternative technique to effectively cleanup herbicides from soil and groundwater, since plants possess highly efficient systems for the removal and transformation of these compounds. Plant-based remediation can accelerate natural attenuation processes from contaminated sites by taking up significant quantities of water, and herbicides may be transformed into less toxic forms.
Knowledge about the input of carbon from plants into the rhizosphere (rhizodeposition) mainly comes from agricultural research. The quantity of C-compounds released by agricultural crops has been estimated at 10-40 of net photosynthetic production 112 . The composition of the exudates is highly diverse and species-specific. For example, sugars and vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavine and pyridoxine etc., organic acids such as malate, citrate, amino acids, benzoic acids, and phenolic compounds have all been identified 113 . Rhizodeposition may initiate the mobilization of nutrients 114 , allelopathic effects 113 , and the stimulation of microbial growth and activity inside the rhizosphere 112, 115-117 .
Time, and that when an insect adapts to the defenses of a given plant, it has the potential to become a pest.6 Actually, there are a number of insect pests that inflict great damage on agricultural products, especially on nutritious grains, despite the occurrence of antifeedant molecules including large amounts of PIs in these products.
Dr Bhojwani had another opportunity to work in the U.K. for a year during 1975-1976 under the Royal Society Commonwealth Bursary. This time he spent the whole year with Professor Cocking and worked on wheat tissue culture (Z. Planzenphysiol., 1977) and protoplast isolation and culture in cotton (Plant Sci. Lett. 1977). At this point of time there was considerable interest in the application of biotechnological techniques to crop improvement. However, a major limitation in achieving this goal was the recalcitrance of legumes, cereals and other major crop plants for plant regeneration from cultured cells, an essential step in genetic engineering and somatic hybridization. This prompted Dr Bhojwani to critically review the literature on tissue culture of crop plants which was presented as an invited lecture in a meeting organised by the Agricultural Research Council, London and later published in Euphytica (1977). The review, discussing the progress and problems of tissue culture of...
The use of herbicides to kill unwanted plants is widespread in modern agriculture. Many different classes of herbicides have been developed, and they act by blocking amino acid, carotenoid, or lipid biosynthesis or by disrupting cell division. Other herbicides, such as DCMU (dichlorophenyl-dimethylurea) and paraquat, block photosynthetic electron flow (Figure 7.31). DCMU is also known as diuron. Paraquat has acquired public notoriety because of its use on marijuana crops.
Figure 10.7 An ultimate goal of many ethological descriptions is to translate indices of social behavior into evolutionary consequences. In the case of Kerby and Macdonald's (1988) and Macdonald et al's (in press) farm cat study, the spatial arrangement of female cats around the farmyard resource center was correlated with the number of kittens raised annually per female. Figure 10.7 An ultimate goal of many ethological descriptions is to translate indices of social behavior into evolutionary consequences. In the case of Kerby and Macdonald's (1988) and Macdonald et al's (in press) farm cat study, the spatial arrangement of female cats around the farmyard resource center was correlated with the number of kittens raised annually per female.
There is little doubt that in terms of global health and nutrition needs, there is an urgent need to develop new plant crops with enhanced levels of iron, vitamin A, iodine, and the essential amino acids. This development will need to take place with plant breeders working closely with nutritionists. The issues that will need to be considered include the magnitude of any compositional change that is possible, its potential impact on health, the effect on crop yields and other agronomic issues, the role of the environment versus genetic manipulation in increasing levels, consumer acceptance, and a thorough analysis of any possible risks. Such an approach is already being adopted through the activities of the international agricultural research centers.
Boyer was visiting assistant professor of botany at Duke University from 1964 to 1965, and an assistant physiologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 1965-1966. In 1966 he moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana and rose from assistant professor to professor of botany and agronomy. In 1978, he joined the USDA as a plant physiologist on the University of Illinois campus. Between 1984 and 1987 he was a professor at Texas A&M University. Since 1987 he has been du Pont Professor of marine biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Delaware.
SP SO AO6 96), and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research Grant No. F-1 (21) 96-FFC , New Delhi to MVR. Award of Senior Research Fellowship from the University Grants Commission, New Delhi to RK and Junior Research Fellowship from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi to SS is gratefully acknowledged. We are also thankful to Mr. Amit Arora for his excellent secretarial assistance.
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