The Transformation Of Agriculture And The Evolution Of Plant Improvement Research

Modern cereal cultivars have developed through four main phases of selection: (i) subconscious selection by earlier food growers in the process of harvesting and planting, (ii) deliberate selection among variable materials by farmers living in settlements and communities, (iii) purposeful selection by professional breeders using scientific principles of inheritance and observable physical traits, and (iv) selection based on genomic characteristics and the application of molecular markers and transgenic techniques to crop improvement. The latter two phases have emerged as a result of the intensification and commercialization of agriculture.

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