Crop Life International presents the “story of seeds”–an animated look at the evolution of germination.
Seeds are the basis for all plant life on earth. For millennia, mankind has worked to continually improve the seeds we use to grow crops that feed and nourish our communities and improve our lives. Plant biotechnology is yet another step in the journey to improve agricultural production and feed our changing world.
Ten thousand years ago, the earliest farmers, living in the Fertile Crescent of countries surrounding the Nile River, the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, worked to find the seeds that grew the hardiest crop. They discovered some seed types from the wild grains produced more plentiful harvests. They began selecting these types (today we call them varieties) and began cultivating them every season which ultimately led to the establishment of thriving stable communities, ending the nomadic lifestyle which was previously driven by a search for food.
Over the past 150 years, researchers have built on the earliest farmers’ knowledge to better understand the importance of plant genetics to develop stronger and more vibrant crops.
By identifying crops with desired traits such as better nutritional characteristics or greater tolerance to drought and using selective breeding, they have developed improved plants that are healthier, more resilient, and capable of producing greater yields.
Today, seed research is highly sophisticated. In the lab, scientists work carefully to identify the specific genes responsible for traits that make crops tastier, more nutritious, heartier or more tolerant of drought, pests, floods, pesticides, or saline environments.
Read and view full, original infographic: A SEED STORY: PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY IN FOCUS