Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: PREDICTING INTERACTIVE EFFECTS OF CO2, TEMPERATURE, AND OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON AGRICULTUAL PRODUCTIVITIY

Location: Plant Physiology and Genetics Research

Title: Wheat: Science and Trade

Author
item White, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2010
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Citation: White, J.W. 2010, Wheat: Science and Trade. Crop Science, 50:1576.

Interpretive Summary: The material largely employs a graduate-level terminology for phytopathology, genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry. Individual chapters might be suitable as course material, but the main use of the book would seem to be as introductory or refresher material for the wheat research community. Obvious cases would be for a resercher recently assigned to work on wheat or a researcher who feels a need to review their field to understand how modern technologies, especially from molecular biology, might affect their work. An unresolved issue is whether such a compendium still has value in an era when knowledge is evolving rapidly. The Internet provides authors the ability to update information as needed and to rely extensively on color diagrams and photos or even provide animation or videos. However, the Internet still lacks quality of editing that is apparent in Wheat: Science and Trade and lags in ease of access if one is forunate enough to have the right book on the shelf. Of course, this raises a second issue: at $250, the book is more likely to reside in a central library than on every researcher's bookshelf.

Technical Abstract: This is for a book review of Wheat: science and trade, edited by B.F. Carver. The book provides an indepth review of wheat biology, production, breeding, processing, and trade and is organized in four sections. "Making of a Wheat Plant" reviews domestication, evolution, development, and molecular control of flowering. "Making of a Wheat Crop" considers management, diseases, pests and weeds. In "Making of a Wheat Cultivar," crop improvement is examined across the spectrum from conventional breeding, to creation of synthetic wheats, to transgenic approaches. The final section, "Making of a Wheat Industry," looks at grain quality, novel uses, and marketing. The 23 chapters were authored by experts from 10 countries, notably the US, Australia, and Canada. The content is clearly written and current through 2007, with a few citations from 2008. Chapters varied in whether the content primarily had a global or US focus. Other minor deficiencies include incomplete coverage of physiology and minimal information on viral diseases. The material largely employees a graduate-level terminology for phytopathology, genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry. Individual chapters might be suitable as course material, but the main use of the book would seem to be introductory or refresher material for the wheat research community. An unresolved issue is whether such a compendium still has value in an era when knowledge is evolving rapidly. The Internet providesauthors the ability to update information as needed and to rely extensively on color diagrams and photos or even provide animation or videos. However, the Internet still lacks the quality of editing that is apprent in Wheat: science and trade and lags in ease of access if one is fortunate enough to have the right book on the shelf. Of course, this raises a second issue: at $250, the book is more likely to reside in a central library than on every researcher's bookshelf.

Last Modified: 9/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page