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Plants, biotechnology and agriculture - Denis J Murphy

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Plants, biotechnology and agriculture
Denis J Murphy
Paperback / softback
UK Publication Date

At a time when the world's food supplies are increasingly unable to meet the needs of a burgeoning population, the subject matter of this book has never been more relevant. At the same time, there is significant diversity of opinion concerning the benefits and perceived dangers of the applications of biotechnology in food production. To help inform this debate, the aim of Plants, Biotechnology & Agriculture is to provide the reader with a comprehensive yet concise overview of plants as both biological organisms and useful resources for people to exploit.

The first half of the book gives a basic overview of plant biology including how plants develop and respond to their environment, acting as a primer for those without a biology background and a refresher for students of plant biology and agriculture. These chapters set the scene for an outline of human exploitation of plants, from domestication to scientific manipulation. The complex technologies now being applied to improving crops are then described, guiding the reader through the extensive terminologies and jargon, using focus boxes to illustrate key processes and issues.
The final two chapters address society's response to biotechnology, how these technologies are being modified in response to public concerns, and new technologies being developed to meet the challenges of rapid population growth, depletion of non-renewable resources and climate change.

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Denis Murphy received a D Phil in plant biochemistry from the University of York, UK in 1977. He went on to research and teach at universities in Australia, USA, Germany and the UK. He spent ten years as Head of Oil Crops Research at the John Innes Centre, Norwich and is currently Professor of Biotechnology at the University of Glamorgan in Wales, UK. He is an advisor and consultant on various aspects of agriculture and biotechnology to a range of international bodies including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the European Commission. He frequently participates in public debates on scientific issues such as food security, biofuels, and modern biotechnology. He has authored more than 280 peer reviewed research articles, and his recent books include: Plant Breeding and Biotechnology and People, Plants, and Genes: The Story of Crops and Humanity, both published in 2007.

Keyword Index
Plants, Cultivated.|Agriculture.|Botany, Economic.|Plant biotechnology.
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