About this book
The world food supply depends on few crops species, termed as ‘major crops’. Almost 95% of the world food requirement is met by 30 plant species. There is a great need to broaden the exploitation of the plant genetic diversity in order to avoid dependence on few food crops. The neglected crops categorised as ‘minor crops’ have lesser importance globally in terms of production and market value. They could become an excellent source for useful gene source. Several factors such as physical appearance, taste, nutritional properties, cultivation methods, processing qualities, economic gains, etc. are responsible for the promotion and acceptance of ‘major crops’ worldwide. However, some crop species may be distributed worldwide but tend to have preference in the local ecology and local production and consumption system. They are traditionally grown in their centres of origin or in local farmers’ fields, important for the subsistence of local communities and constitutes an important part of the local diet nutrition. The lack of their genetic improvement is often hampered due to narrow genetic diversity.
This is the first comprehensive resource worldwide that reflects research achievements in neglected and underutilized crop biotechnology, documenting research events during the last three decades, current status, and future outlook. The book has 16 chapters, divided into 4 sections and provides information on Chenopodium as a potential food source, thin cell layer technology in micropropagation of Jatropha, and Panax vietnamensis; molecular biology and physiology of Haberlea rhodopensis, cell trait prediction in vitro and in vivo of legumes, and application of TILLING in orphan crops; biotechnology of neglected oil crops, Quinoa, Erucia sativa, Stylosanthes, and Miscanthus; genetic transformation of Safflower, Jatropha, Bael, Taro and genetic engineering of Mangroves. This book is useful for researchers, students, policy makers, and people with commercial interests.