The productivity of agricultural systems is the result of human alteration of originally wild organisms over millennia. The availability of germplasm, particularly from wild relatives of crop plants, is vitally important in the development of new and improved crops for both agriculture and horticulture. The handling of these genetic resources for both immediate and future human benefits has resulted in the decades of interdisciplinary scientific research described in this book. The applications of this work and the associated operational programmes in all parts of the world are discussed in the light of their impact on the conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem rehabilitation and the future health of our planet.
' ... a concise, well-written introduction to the preservation and utilisation of crop genetic diversity.' Jeffrey Bennetzen, Trends in Genetics ' ... more than any other book of this size (small) and accessibility (considerable), it does an excellent job of placing plant genetic conservation in the wider context of crop domestication and improvement.' Bookshelf ' ... readers of this book,whether they be professional scientists or interested laypeople, will finish it with a solid grasp of the issues facing those who seek to conserve genetic diversity among crop plants and with an appreciation for the complexities involved.' Trends in Ecology and Evolution 'It is well written and uses a minimum of jargon so that the issues can be understood clearly by those with little previous knowledge of the subject ... a useful addition to the literature on this subject which will appeal particularly to students and administrators wishing to explore the background of this important subject.' Plant Varieties and Seeds ' ... it is a valuable contribution to the subject and is well worth reading.' Agricultural Science