Nature: History of Agricultural Biotechnology: How Crop Development has Evolved

28.11.2012

Nature

Teh Nature Education, Knowledge Project

By: Wieczorek Ania (Dept of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Hi at Manoa) & Wright Mark (Dept of Plant and Env Protection Sciences, University of Hi at Manoa) © 2012 Nature Education

Have you ever wondered where our agricultural crops come from? And what were they like thousands of years ago, or hundreds of years ago? Our food crops today are in fact very different from the original wild plants from which they were derived.

About 10,000 years BC, people harvested their food from the natural biological diversity that surrounded them, and eventually domesticated crops and animals. During the process of domestication, people began to select better plant materials for propagation and animals for breeding, initially unwittingly, but ultimately with the intention of developing improved food crops and livestock.