Book Review by Ian Wardlaw - Ann Bot (2003) 91(4): 500-501.This book covers the evolution and domestication of six important cereal crops (rice, wheat, maize, barley, sorghum and pearl millet), and each chapter has been written by authors associated with major national or international research centres. The strength of the book does lie, as stated by the editors, in bringing together information on the development and improvement of the major crops into a single publication. However, not all chapters are presented in the same detail, or with the same emphasis, and it is difficult to generalize across all the presentations.While the chapter on rice does cover changes that have occurred during and following domestication and the attributes associated with the wide‐ranging cultural practices associated with growth of this crop, it is strongly centred on origins, taxonomy and breeding procedures. The chapter on wheat covers the evolutionary history and genetic changes that have taken place during domestication. There is a relatively short section on adaptation, with the main emphasis being on breeding and breeding techniques, genetics and plant genome analysis. As to be expected, aspects of the CIMMYT wheat breeding programme are included in this chapter. A more recent publication that might interest readers is Evolution of wild emmer and wheat improvement (Nevo et al., 2002). The chapter on maize gives a good insight into the nature of the plant, its taxonomic classification, origin, evolution and geographical and racial diversity. There is more emphasis on the adaptation of the crop to a range of abiotic and biotic stresses, and much less emphasis on detailed genetic analyses. The chapter on barley, with seven authors, is the longest. This covers taxonomy and genetic relationships, evolution and domestication, and breeding achievements. There is considerable emphasis in this chapter on modern molecular techniques, including a short discussion of barley transformation. There is also a relatively detailed assessment of adaptation to abiotic and biotic stress. A final point worth mentioning is the inclusion of website details where the reader can gain further information. The chapter on sorghum is the shortest,........Two earlier books come to mind when reading this volume: the second edition of Crops and man by Harlan (1992) and Crop evolution, adaptation and yield by Evans (1993). The current volume is, in a sense, complementary to these earlier publications in that the overall emphasis is more on the genetics and plant breeding systems associated with the individual crops, while the earlier publications were concerned more with the historical development of cropping and the morphological and physiological changes associated with crop improvement.......It is stated in the preface that the book is written for students, teachers, researchers and others interested in the biology, improvement and use of the crops discussed. While a lot of the material is of general interest, to get the most out of this book it would help for the reader to have a background in genetics, including the more molecular aspects of the topic. This book should certainly be available in all libraries supporting agricultural research and plant breeding.
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|Data di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Autori:||N. PECCHIONI; L. CATTIVELLI; G. DELOGU; P. FACCIOLI; V. TERZI; G. VALE'; A.M. STANCA|
|Titolo del libro:||Evolution and Adaptation of Cereal Crops|
|Nome editore:||Enfield (NH): Science Publishers, Inc.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Capitolo/Saggio|
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