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Do Endangered Plants Need A Geneticist’s Help?

To intensify conservation while enhancing agroforestry, smarter plant breeding practices are required. Traditional breeding has allowed for the identification, selection and propagation of plants with a superior genetic makeup, or genotype, from a given plant population. But traditional methods often fail to isolate the required superior characteristics of a species. They can also take more than five or six breeding cycles before a valuable trait is established and maintained in a plant population. The process can take decades for perennial plants, like trees. Plant biotechnology is increasingly being used to complement traditional screening and breeding practices. Plants can be grown in test tubes under controlled laboratory conditions. (Click on title for full story.)