Plants and Society, 3/e
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Feeding A Hungry World
Seed banks attempt to stockpile the germplasm of useful plants.
Often in times of famine or war, the seed supply for an agricultural region is lost, eaten by the starving. Explain how an international network of seed banks could be of vital use in the recovery of a famine-stricken or war-torn region.
Alternative crops can be brought to the attention of global agriculture and diversify the world’s food sources.
People of all cultures are usually conservative about food choices, often rejecting offhand crops that have good nutritional and agricultural value but are unfamiliar to them. How would you ensure that a plant crop new to an area is accepted? Before answering, contrast the successful introduction of the kiwi fruit (Chapter 6) to the utter failure of the breadfruit (see A Closer Look 15.1: Mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty: The Story of Breadfruit).
The development of a transgenic plant begins with the selection of a useful trait and the isolation of the gene responsible for the trait. Using an appropriate vector that gene is then transferred to a valuable crop plant.
What trait might you try to transfer to wheat if you were developing a transgenic wheat plant that could grow on soils poor in nitrogen? Explain why you have selected this trait.
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