Plant Breeding and Biotechnology is a comprehensive survey of modern plant breeding. Tracing its history from the earliest experiments at the dawn of the scientific revolution in the seventeenth century to the present day and the existence of high tech agribusiness. Murphy tells the story from the perspective of a scientist working in this field, offering a rationale and evidence-based insight into its development. Crop improvement is examined from both a scientific and socio-economic perspective and the ways in which these factors interact and impact on agricultural development are discussed, including debates on genetically-modified food. Murphy highlights concerns over the future of plant breeding, as well as potential options to enable us to meet the challenges of feeding the world in the 21st century.
Contents: Preface; Using this book; Nomenclature and terminology; Abbreviations and glossary; Introduction; Part I. The Science of Plant Breeding: 1. Origins of plant breeding; 2. Creating new genetic variation; 3. Modern high-tech breeding; Part II. The Societal Context of Plant Breeding: 4. Rise of the public sector: the US pioneers; 5. The public sector in the UK; 6. Breeding goes global: the Green Revolution and beyond; Part III. Turmoil and Transition: The legacy of the 1980s: 7. Resurgence of the private sector; 8. Emergence of a new crop improvement paradigm; 9. Decline of the public sector; 10. Reaping the consequences; Part IV. The Agbiotech Paradigm: 11. Agbiotech: genes and dreams; 12. The future of transgenic crops I. Improving the technology; 13. The future of transgenic crops II. Improving the products; Part V. Increasing Global Crop Production: The New Challenges: 14. Feeding the world – fallacies and realities; 15. The roles of management, subsidies, and breeding in crop improvement; Part VI. Plant Breeding in the Twenty-First Century: 16. The future of international plant breeding; 17. Rebalancing our approach to crop improvement; 18. Where do we go from here?; 19. Conclusions and recommendations.