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, 218 (4571), 443-8

Plant Productivity and Environment

Plant Productivity and Environment

J S Boyer. Science.

Abstract

An analysis of major U.S. crops shows that there is a large genetic potential for yield that is unrealized because of the need for better adaptation of the plants to the environments in which they are grown. Evidence from native populations suggests that high productivity can occur in these environments and that opportunities for improving production in unfavorable environments are substantial. Genotypic selection for adaptation to such environments has already played an important role in agriculture, but the fundamental mechanisms are poorly understood. Recent scientific advances make exploration of these mechanisms more feasible and could result in large gains in productivity.

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