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Genetic Improvement of Crops

Genetic Improvement of Crops: Emergent Techniques

Irwin Rubenstein
Burle Gengenbach
Ronald L. Phillips
C. Edward Green
Copyright Date: 1980
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Genetic Improvement of Crops
    Book Description:

    Genetic Improvement of Crops was first published in 1980. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions. Recent years have seen the emergence of a number of in vitro techniques that hold promise for the genetic alteration of higher organisms by non-traditional means. These new techniques may eventually modify the genetic structure of cash crop plants and, in practical terms, may lead to substantial improvement of crop production and to disease resistance in plants. This volume brings together 10 research reports by scientists actively engaged in developing genetic techniques in plants and other organisms. The first section explores both the potential for application of these techniques and the genetic needs of plant breeders. Other sections deal with genome organization and function; recombinant DNA technology and application; gene transfer; organelle transfer; and plant tissue culture.

    eISBN: 978-1-4529-3829-5
    Subjects: Technology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Part I: Potentials and Needs

    • Potentials for Improving Crop Production
      (pp. 3-23)
      G. A. Strobel

      The needs of humans for food, fiber, fuel, and medicine are outstripping their supply. New ideas need to be explored in all areas of crop production — from plant introduction to genetic manipulation and molecular biology. Gains in productivity of many major food plants are becoming harder to obtain. We cannot expect to continue to make major strides in improving crop production by employing strictly conventional approaches and techniques.

      To establish reasonable goals for crop improvement, we must know the limitations of production. In many of our major crops, productivity could be increased greatly if pests (diseases, insects, weeds) could...

    • Genetic Needs of Plant Breeders
      (pp. 24-44)
      R. A. Kleese and D. N. Duvick

      We want to say at the beginning that we appreciate the opportunity to tell you about some of our needs in plant breeding. We all have the genetic improvement of crop species as a common goal, and yet we bring together vastly different backgrounds. Our research experiences range from chemistry laboratories to farmers’ fields, from working with microorganisms to higher plants. Some of you are fascinated by a molecular approach—others prefer to always work with whole organisms. Most of the journals that some of you read are unknown to the rest of us. Our scientific language varies so much...

  6. Part II: Genome Organization and Function

    • Patterns of DNA Sequence Repetition and Interspersion in Higher Plants
      (pp. 47-75)
      W. F. Thompson, M. G. Murray, H. S. Belford and R. E. Cuellar

      It is natural to think of DNA in terms of genes and their controlling elements. However, if genes and controlling elements actually made up a large fraction of the total DNA, we should expect that the DNA content of different organisms would be rather directly correlated with organismic complexity; in fact, the correlation is very far from perfect. Although theminimumDNA content for various major taxa does increase in a more or less regular fashion with increasing complexity (Sparrow et al., 1972), an even more striking feature of the distribution of DNA contents among organisms is the tremendous range...

    • Cereal Genome Studies and Plant Breeding Research
      (pp. 76-90)
      R. B. Flavell, M. O’Dell and J. Jones

      There are few pieces of fundamental research that have directly benefited the production of economically successful crop plant varieties. There are many reasons for this. The biological processes on which plant breeding and crop performance depend are complex, and we understand relatively little about them at the molecular, cellular, or whole-plant level. With such an inadequate knowledge of these processes, it is difficult to design specific experiments that have incisive repercussions for plant breeding. Another reason, which surely should not continue to be ignored, is that very little basic plant research has been directly inspired by specific plant breeding problems...

  7. Part III: Gene Isolation and Transfer

    • Molecular Cloning of Higher Plant DNA
      (pp. 93-114)
      J. Bedbrook, W. Gerlach, R. Thompson, J. Jones and R. B. Flavell

      In vitrorecombinant DNA technology makes possible the isolation and large-scale preparation of specific DNA fragments from the chromosomes of higher organisms. It therefore makes possible molecular analysis of eukaryotic genes and chromosomes. The success of this technology (referred to here as molecular cloning) has already shown itself in work with fungal, insect, and higher animal DNAs. Though molecular cloning has proven productive in studying chloroplast genes (Bedbrook et al., 1979d; Coen et al., 1978), many workers have encountered problems when attempting to clone nuclear DNA sequences from various plants. In this paper, we will attempt to rationalize some of...

    • Characteristics of T-DNA in Crown Gall Tumors
      (pp. 115-134)
      M.-D. Chilton, J. McPherson, R. K. Saiki, M. F. Thomashow, R. C. Nutter, S. B. Gelvin, A. L. Montoya, D. J. Merlo, F.-M. Yang, D. J. Garfinkel, E. W. Nester and M. P. Gordon

      The plant cancer crown gall is incited by inoculation of wound sites withAgrobacterium tumefaciens. The resulting gall contains neoplastic cells that possess altered growth characteristics and metabolism. Tumor cells can growin vitroin the absence of the inciting bacterium, and, unlike normal plant callus, the tumor tissue grows luxuriantly without exogenously supplied phytohormones (White and Braun, 1942).

      Tumor cellsin vitrosynthesize novel amino-acid derivatives calledopines. The most extensively characterized opines are those of the octopine group—octopine and octopinic acid (Ménagé and Morel, 1964), lysopine (Lioret, 1957; Biemann, et al., 1960), and histopine (Kemp, 1977)—and...

  8. Part IV: Organelle Transfer

    • The Analysis of Organelle Behavior and Genetics Following Protoplast Fusion or Organelle Incorporation
      (pp. 137-152)
      H. Bonnett, A. Wallin and K. Glimelius

      Genetic analysis of organellar heredity in plants has been dominated by research on lower plants, such asChlamydomonasandSaccharomyces, in which organelles are donated to the zygote from both male and female gametes. Some higher plant species also transfer organelles through both sexes, but, in most plants of agricultural interest, they are transmitted only through the maternal line. Therefore, artificial methods must be devised in which organelles of different genetic composition can be combined within a single cell. In such cells, recombination and segregation of genetic information can be investigated. Several methods involving somatic cells have been developed to...

    • Chromosome-Mediated Gene Transfer and Microcell Hybridization
      (pp. 153-182)
      R. S. Athwal and O. W. McBride

      Somatic cell genetics has provided a highly productive approach to the genetic analysis of mammalian cells. An interesting feature of this method is its ability to combine genotypes by cell hybridization beyond species boundaries. Thus, intraspecies variation, essential for conventional genetic analysis in eukaryotic organisms, is substituted by interspecies variation.

      The most useful approach for genetic analysis of eukaryotic cells requires that the quantity of transferred genetic information be selected and varied from a single gene to an entire genome. The array of techniques now available for transfer of genetic material appear to approach this ideal.

      Somatic cell hybridization can...

  9. Part V: Plant Tissue Culture

    • Mutant Selection and Plant Regeneration from Potato Mesophyll Protoplasts
      (pp. 185-219)
      J. F. Shepard

      To realize much of the oft-cited potential (Bajaj, 1974; Bhojwani et al., 1977; Kleinhofs and Behki, 1977) of protoplast systems for plant improvement, a number of criteria must first be satisfied. Efficient protoplast isolation and regeneration protocols that are applicable to several cultivars, and certainly not limited to one, are required for the crop plant in question. There must be a means for achieving the desired form(s) of heritable variation in regenerates while otherwise preserving the integrity of the original genome. Finally, selective mechanisms are needed for recognizing and retrieving desirable variants from a large population. For no major crop...

    • Epigenetic Changes in Tobacco Cell Culture: Studies of Cytokinin Habituation
      (pp. 220-236)
      F. Meins Jr. and J. Lutz

      Plant tissues in culture commonly undergo variation. This involves changes in such diverse phenotypes as chromosomal constitution (D’Amato, 1977), requirement for specific growth factors (Gautheret, 1955), capacity for organogenesis (Skirvin, 1978), production of secondary products (Butcher, 1977), and resistance to inhibitors of amino acid metabolism (Carlson, 1973; Widholm, 1974) and of protein and nucleic acid synthesis (Lescure, 1973; Maliga et al., 1973a and b; Sung, 1976). Although some of this variation can be attributed to the selection of specific cell types in the original tissue explant (Gautheret, 1966), it is likely that most variation results from alterations in cellular heredity...

  10. Index
    (pp. 239-242)