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the foundation
of civilization

Plant breeding:
the foundation
of agriculture

Global Plant Breeding

Plant Breeding - The Foundation of Agriculture

Plant breeding is everywhere in the civilized world, providing new cultivars (cultivated varieties) of useful crops for commercial growers, subsistence farmers, and home gardeners. Agriculture is the foundation of civilization, and plant breeding is the foundation of agriculture. Plant breeders work with field crops (grains, legumes, forages, roots, and fiber), forest crops (lumber, paper, and veneer), horticultural crops (vegetables, fruits, flowers, ornamentals, and turf), and with crops producing medicines or providing environmental remediation. Plant breeders are involved in the collection of germplasm (seeds and other propagules of land races, local cultivars, undeveloped populations, and wild relatives) around the world, especially from centers of diversity for useful crops. They preserve, evaluate, and distribute the germplasm to those interested in working with the crop. Plant breeders develop new cultivars having higher yield, earlier maturity, better adaptation, improved quality, and higher resistance to diseases, insects, and environmental stresses. Along with other agricultural researchers and extensionists, plant breeders have provided the world's population with plentiful food, improved health and nutrition, and beautiful landscapes.

The global plant breeding website is now the main site for the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee. The Plant Breeding CC (SCC 080) will be a forum for leadership regarding issues, problems and opportunities of long-term strategic importance to the contribution of plant breeding to national goals. The address for the Plant Breeding Coordinating Committee is:

The global plant breeding website was organized to provide information and support for plant breeders in all parts of the world, working on all crop plants, in public service and private industry. The short address for this site is


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Department of Horticultural ScienceBox 7609North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NC 27695-7609(919) 515-7416

Page citation: Wehner, T.C. Global Plant Breeding, 30 March 2005;
design by C.T. Glenn; send questions to T.C. Wehner; last revised on 30 September, 2009