Plant genetic resources and policy

Jain, H. K. (1988) Plant genetic resources and policy Trends in Biotechnology, 6 (3). pp. 73-77. ISSN 0167-7799

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Genetic engineering will allow the introduction of new genes and novel qualities into crops, thereby extending genetic diversity. However, seed development and bulking through anther and pollen culture will tend to reduce variability. Infrastructural developments, such as the acquisition of small seed companies by large corporations, the patentability of plant germ plasm, and the technological needs of crop processing, will also favour uniformity in crop varieties. The recent history of crop agriculture shows that many plant breeders have recognized that increased homogeneity is inappropriate for world agriculture. Those using biotechnological methods should, therefore, also acknowledge the need for genetic diversity.

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