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Plant Genetics: Increasing Crop Yield

P. R. Day
Science
New Series, Vol. 197, No. 4311 (Sep. 30, 1977), pp. 1334-1339
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1744696
Page Count: 6
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Plant Genetics: Increasing Crop Yield
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Abstract

Cell cultures of crop plants provide new opportunities to recover induced mutations likely to increase crop yield. Approaches include regulating respiration to conserve carbon fixed by photosynthesis, and increasing the nutritive value of seed protein. They depend on devising selecting conditions which only desired mutant cells can survive. Protoplast fusion offers some promise of tapping sources of genetic variation now unavailable because of sterility barriers between species and genera. Difficulties in regenerating cell lines from protoplasts, and plants from cells, still hamper progress but are becoming less severe. Recombinant DNA techniques may allow detection and selection of bacterial cell lines carrying specific DNA sequences. Isolation and amplification of crop plant genes could then lead to ways of transforming plants that will be useful to breeders.

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