Adding value to crops that historically have been generic commodities has been a vision of geneticists, breeders, producers, and processors of plant products for decades. The tools of molecular biology have now given the geneticists and breeders the ability to create designer plants with unique properties to enhance their feed, food, fiber and medicinal values or industrial uses.
Adding value is more than adding yield or other agronomic traits of interest primarily to the producer. Adding value is meeting a need, perceived or unperceived, of a customer who is willing to pay more to receive a uniform and distinct cultivar with assurance of more oil, more protein, more malt, better amino acid composition, unique fatty acid composition, longer shelf life, better color, new uses, etc.
Designing Crops for Added Value could just as easily have been entitled “Research and Breeding for the Future.” The authors of the various chapters reflect a diversity of expertise outside the crop science and agronomy areas. They reflect a level of cooperation and the multidisciplinary effort perceived by many to be the research mode of the future. This is a forward-looking publication that will be useful to practicing breeders, as well as to students, advanced undergraduates and graduate students. The students will find embedded in the chapters of this publication a guide to many of the career specializations for crop scientists and agronomists in the twenty-first century.
On behalf of the American Society of Agronomy, a thanks is due to the authors and editors for their time and efforts to bring this publication to fruition.
Vernon B. Cardwell, president, ASA
Dramatic advances in molecular biology are now allowing plant breeders and geneticists to set their sights on more and more ambitious goals. The primary focus of plant improvement, for most of the past century, has been the necessity of defending plants from biotic and abiotic stresses. Also, specific market demands for some crops, e.g., malting barley, wheat for milling, cotton, and peanuts, forced breeders to meet standardized quality standards. These paradigms have begun to change, however, and it was in anticipation of the rapid acceleration of these changes that this monograph was conceived and developed.
While the need to protect plants and assure optimal production (yield) will continue, we foresee future plant genetic improvement making dramatic strides toward the design of crops to meet specific feed, food, and industrial use needs. Among food crops, we anticipate designer combinations of nutritional and health beneficial traits. And we anticipate a rapidly growing need for, and use of, identity preservation. We also believe these opportunities will offer more excitement and satisfaction for plant geneticists, increased profits for producers and processors, and much more desirable products for consumers.
The coverage of the nine chapters is quite diverse, ranging from economic considerations of identity preservation to the biochemistry of starch synthesis. The various topics reflect the expertise and interests of the individual authors, but the common thread is the design, production, and marketing of new cultivars with specific traits. The emphasis is on field crops, although similar considerations apply to vegetable and fruit crops.
This volume is the product of a team effort; dependent upon the cooperation, trust, and dedication of our editorial committee, authors, and reviewers (and with Society support). We express our sincere appreciation to all of them. The senior editor also wishes to express special thanks to the junior editor, who so willingly and ably assumed lead responsibility for the project when necessitated by a health situation.
Charles F. Murphy
National Program Staff, Agricultural Research Service. USDA,
David M. Peterson
Cereal Crops Research, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, and Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
P. Stephen Baenziger, Eugene W. Price Professor, Department of Agronomy. 330 Keirn Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0915
William A. Berzonsky, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Loftsgard Hall, P.O. Box 5051, Fargo, ND 58105-5051
R.F. Bruns, General Manager, AgriPro Wheat, Berthoud, CO 80513
Gary L. Cromwell, Professor, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546.
Ian B. Edwards, Chief Executive Officer, Grain BioTech Australia Pty Ltd., 10 Whipple St., Balcatta, Western Australia 6021
Kenneth Eskins, Research Leader(deceased), Biomaterials Processsing Research, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, 1815 N. University Street, Peoria, IL 61604
George F. Fanta, Research Chemist, Biomaterials Processing Research and Plant Polymer Research, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, 1815 N. University Street, Peoria, IL 61604
Frederick C. Felker, Plant Physiologist, Biomaterials Processing Research, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, 1815 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61604
Bruce R. Hamaker, Professor, Department of Food Science, Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN 47907
L. Curtis Hannah, Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, P.O. Box II 0690, Gainesville, FL 32611
William D. Hitz, Senior Research Scientist, Dupont Experimental Station, P.O. Box 80402, Wilmington, DE 19880-0402
Anthony J. Kinney, Senior Research Scientist, Dupont Experimental Station, P.O. Box 80402, Wilmington, DE 19880-0402
Roger A. Kleese, Vice President, Director of Research and Development, Optimum Quality Grains, L.L.C.; current address is 6700 80th Ave. N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445
April C. Mason, Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
William R. Meredith, Jr, Research Leader, Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, P.O. Box. 345, Stoneville, MS 38776
AmitMitra, Associate Professor, Center for Biotechnology and Department of Plant Pathology, 406 Plant Sciences Hall, University ofNebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0722
Charles F. Murphy, Senior National Program Leader, Grain Crops, National Program Staff, Agricultural Research Service, USDA; current address is 7829 Wilton Crescent, University Park, FL 34201
Herbert W. Ohm, Professor, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 4 7907
David M. Peterson, Research Leader, Cereal Crops Research, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, 501 Walnut St., Madison, WI 53705 and Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Richard K. Perrin, Jim Roberts Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, 102 H.C. Filley Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0922
Rollin G. Sears, AgriPro Wheat, 12115 Tully Hill Road, Junction City, KS 66441
Mary Ann L. Smith, Professor, Department ofNatural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801
Connie M. Weaver, Department Head and Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, 1264 Stone Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1264
Pamela J. White, Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011