Chapter

Breeding and Biotechnology

Brad Chapman, Candelario Mondragon Jacobo, Ronald A. Bunch and Andrew H. Paterson

in Cacti

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231573
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927889 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520231573.003.0015
Breeding and Biotechnology

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Cacti are well adapted to arid and semiarid regions where food and fodder crops are limited. Their ability to thrive in these environments makes them of immediate interest to breeders and molecular biologists seeking to develop crops for areas unsuitable for conventional agriculture. This chapter focuses on plant breeding and biotechnology research on the fruit-bearing group Opuntia, although the techniques, methods, and concepts presented are transferable to most of the Cactaceae. The objectives of breeding and biotechnology include the following: (1) expanding the production area into new environments, (2) improving the quality and productivity of cacti to expand into new markets, and (3) adding new traits to allow the development of new uses for cacti. The chapter also reviews the molecular work done on cacti and proposes a plan for the development of molecular tools for cacti utilizing the work done on traditional crop species.

Keywords: cacti; plant breeding; biotechnology; Opuntia; Cactaceae

Chapter.  11551 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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