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IPM Chronicle

New and improved techniques used to enhance crops

The previous issue of the IPM Chronicle discussed recent findings from the National Academy of Sciences related to the safety of genetically engineered crops on human health and the environment. Now, the discussion turns to the recent developments and the potential benefits of such modern techniques to produce genetically modified crops. In order to fully understand the advanced techniques developed to design crops, it’s essential to understand past crop breeding methods.

Ever since humans domesticated plants to produce food about 10,000 years ago, they were continuously selected for desirable traits that occurred naturally. The field of classical plant breeding through cross-pollination witnessed rapid growth following the famous pea-plant experiments of Gregory Mendel who outlined the “rules of genetics” in the late 1800s.