More Food: Road to Survival

More Food: Road to Survival is a comprehensive analysis of agricultural improvements which can be achieved through scientific methods. This reference book gives information about strategies for ...
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Genetic Tools for Crop Improvement: Past, Present, and Future

Pp. 39-81 (43)

Mario Motto

Abstract

To respond to the contemporary increasing demand for food, feed, and feedstocks for bioenergy and bio-factory applications, there is an urgent need to improve agricultural plant production and quality-related features. Genetics and plant breeding are powerful strategies for increasing crop productivity. The objectives of this chapter are devoted to summarize i) historical developments of applied plant genetics or plant breeding, ii) fundamental principles affecting the current methods of molecular plant breeding, and iii) key factors that will affect the use of molecular breeding in crop improvement procedures. Additionally, the chapter takes a close look at the current exploitation of molecular plant breeding for the discovery of genes and their functions. These topics would disclose new perspectives for crucial plant biology research that will be beneficial to ensure food security to the rapidly growing world population and to sustainable agricultural systems. Moreover, they would open new doors to improve feedstocks to sustain non-food applications for the synthesis of high-added value products.

Keywords:

Applied plant genetics, Biotech crops, Crop improvement, Genetic and genomic tools, Genetic engineering, Green revolution, Plant breeding.

Affiliation:

Fondazione Istituto Tecnico Superiore per le nuove Tecnologie della Vita, Bergamo, Italy