Pioneering Women in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Biotechnology

  • Jill S. Tietjen
  • Laura S. PrivalleEmail author
Part of the Women in Engineering and Science book series (WES)


The original plant breeders were women. When humans moved from the hunter/gatherer phase into the cultivation phase, women kept the seeds from those plants that had the most desirable traits for use the following season. These traits included biggest and strongest, plants with non-shattering seed pods, seeds that did not become dormant, blooms that flowered synchronously across the population and larger fruits and grains. Domestication of wild plants required many generations. As we think about sustainable agriculture and food biotechnology today, many branches of science have been tapped for the advances that we have experienced. Women contributed to each of these sciences as they evolved and led to plant biology and biotechnology. Women’s contributions began BC and have continued through the 21st century. These women were alchemists, botanists and plant biologists, chemists, science writers and philosophers, zoologists and cytologists, biochemists, geneticists, biologists and molecular biologists, agriculturists, and plant and agricultural biotechnologists. Let’s learn about some of those pioneering women through the ages.


Transposable Element Nobel Prize Glycogen Storage Disease Molecular Biologist Nobel Laureate 
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

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Greenwood VillageUSA
  2. 2.Research Triangle ParkUSA

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