This chapter discusses trade-offs, which can represent either constraints or opportunities. The ideas presented are only a subset of the potential applications of evolutionary biology to the genetic improvement of crop plants. A better understanding of trade-offs is key to understanding past progress, remaining opportunities, and the ultimate limits to crop genetic improvement. The success of the Green Revolution depended on trade-offs between the competitiveness of individual plants against each other, which was favored by past natural selection and the collective seed yield of crops. Some trade-offs that shaped past evolution still act as constraints on further crop improvement. There appears to be a trade-off between specificity and reaction rate, with natural selection having balanced the two goals differently in terrestrial versus aquatic environments. A detailed mechanism for such a trade-off has been proposed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Crop Physiology|
|Subtitle of host publication||Applications for Genetic Improvement and Agronomy|
|Number of pages||21|
|State||Published - Apr 15 2009|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
I thank Will Ratcliff and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments. This material is partly based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0514464.
© 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved..