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Book Sections Year : 2014

The Evolution of Agriculture and Tools for Plant Innovation

Agnès E Ricroch
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Plants such as cereals and legumes on which humans depend on today were domesticated gradually and independently by ancient farmers in many different parts of the world over a few thousand years. Over time, ancient farmers converted hundreds wild species into cultivated crops (some of the world’s most important crops). In the transition from foraging to farming 10,000 years ago, the wild forms of these plants mutated and were selected to result into new, domesticated species that were easier to harvest. This process continues today. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, innovation in plant genetic technologies has accelerated and produced better crops through increased resistance to pests and diseases, tolerance to drought and flooding. Dramatic and rapid progress has been made in our understanding and ability to alter gene expression in plants and in techniques for the identification, isolation and transfer of genes of interest. In many cases, this progress has been facilitated by the availability of efficient gene transfer methods. Geneticists use a wide variety of gene transfer methods to introduce foreign DNA (from microorganism, plant, animal) into plants. Plant genetic improvement offer an effective approach to increase food production and food security in order to support the world’s growing population, especially in inhospitable climates. Plant innovations can also improve production of medicines for all.
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hal-01504823 , version 1 (10-04-2017)



Agnès E Ricroch. The Evolution of Agriculture and Tools for Plant Innovation. Plant Biotechnology. Experience and Future Prospects, Springer, pp.13-23, 2014, 978-3-319-06891-6. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-06892-3_2⟩. ⟨hal-01504823⟩
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