The accelerated pace of research, augmented by sophisticated instrumentation and techniques, and new opinions, imparts to crop science a rapidly changing character as new discoveries replace and/ or add to former concepts. New findings force us to reevaluate and often reconstruct the foundations on which crop science rests.
The Teaching Improvement Committee of the Crop Science Society of America identified the urgent need for developing contemporary reading materials aimed at upper level undergraduate college students. A current presentation of the dynamic state of modern crop science is a formidable challenge worthy of the best talents of eminent research and teaching personnel in the field. This task necessitates assembling the most capable representatives of the various disciplines within crop science and bringing them together in teams of writers to prepare a series of publications based on contemporary research. The Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy have undertaken this large assignment by selecting more than 100 specialists who will contribute to making the Foundations of Modern Crop Science books a reality.
The authors and editors of this series believe that the new approach taken in organizing subject matter and relating it to current discoveries and new principles will stimulate the interest of students. A single book cannot fulfill the different and changing requirements that must be met in various programs and curricula within our junior and senior colleges. Conversely, the needs of the students and the prerogatives of teachers can be satisfied by well-written, well-illustrated, and relatively inexpensive books planned to encompass those areas that are vital and central to understanding the content, state, and direction of modern crop science. The Foundations for Modern Crop Science books represent the translation of this central theme into volumes that form an integrated series but can be used alone or in any combination desired in support of specific courses.
The most important thing about any book is its authorship. Each book and/or chapter in this series on Foundations for Modern Crop Science is written by a recognized specialist in his discipline. The Crop Science Society of America and the American Society of Agronomy join the Foundations for Modern Crop Science Book Writing Project Committee in extending special acknowledgement and gratitude to the many writers of these books. The series is a tribute to the devotion of many important contributors who, recognizing the need, approach this major project with enthusiasm.
This book is intended as a text or reference book for undergraduate students at the junior-senior level in the plant sciences, primarily in colleges of agricultures. The material in several of the chapters is comprehensive enough to meet the requirements of instruction at the graduate level.
The authors were selected from various disciplines within agronomy and horticulture from eight different universities. Each author is an authority in his field research and teaching. Most of the authors are now actively engaged in teaching or have taught undergraduate students in various universities in the USA. Because of the wide diversity of authors, the reader will detect different styles of writing with a varying wmphasis on citations or references in the written text. Some chapters have a group of references only at the end of the chapter; other may have citations referred to directly in the text. In either case, the material presented is very readable, understandabe, and I hope, stimulating enough to generate a further interest in a career in the plant sciences.
All of the chapters, except Chapter 11, “Genetics and Use of Physiological Variability in Crop Breeding,” are primarily physiological in nature. Chapter 11 shows the importance of physiology and genetics of plants. This chapter, prepared initially by two authors for this book, has been modified slightly and used as a chapter in Book IV, Crop Breeding, in this series.
I enjoyed editing this book and hope the authors have enjoyed the important task of writing a chapter for a reference designed primarily for undergraduate students. Each author had to put teaching or research duties aside to complete the task and to each, I am most grateful. May your efforts be reflected in better-informed students who will help solve the urgent food probles of our world in the 21st century.
M. B. Tesar
Allan L. Barta, Professor, Department of Agronomy, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691.
R. H. Brown, Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.
A. W. Burger, Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.
Vernon B. Cardwell, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108.
Frank G. Dennis, Jr., Professor, Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.
Jerry D. Eastin, Professor of Crop Physiology, Department of Agronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0817.
Burle G. Gengenbach, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108.
Kenneth L. Larson, formerly Professor of Agronomy, College of Agriculture, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211; now Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011.
Dale N. Moss, Professor, Department of Crop Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331.
C. J. Nelson, Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.
Donald C. Rasmusson, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108.
John G. Streeter, Professor, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691.
Charles Y. Sullivan, Research Plant Physiologist, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0817.