New Approaches for Agricultural Molecular Biology: From Single Cells to Field Analysis

  • Richard A. Jefferson
Part of the Stadler Genetics Symposia Series book series (SGSS)


Although the advent of molecular biology and recombinant DNA technologies has caused tremendous excitement and enthusiasm among many scientists and policy-makers whose goal is the improvement of agriculture through research, the realities of the time scale over which these technologies must be applied, and the extent to which they are currently inadequate is now being appreciated. The main reason for these inadequacies is simply our overwhelming ignorance of the biology that underlies agriculture. Traditional crop manipulation, as typified by plant breeding, is an empirical craft that is not generally based on a firm understanding of the processes that govern the characters being manipulated. Although the methodology used in an advanced plant breeding program can be quite sophisticated, it is fundamentally limited by the need to visualize and select for traits from existing variation. The complexity of agriculture and the urgency of its success or failure has generally required this empirical approach to its manipulation, while the power of modern molecular biology lies in the acquisition of an understanding of the processes by experimental manipulation.


Gene Fusion Transcriptional Fusion Fusion Genetic Modern Molecular Biology Plant Science Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Jefferson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute Plant Science ResearchCambridge LaboratoryCambridgeEngland
  2. 2.>Joint Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy AgencyViennaAustria

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