How were today's complex approaches to improving crops developed? The quest for a steady food supply sparked plant breeding attempts over 12,000 years ago. The Concise Encyclopedia of Crop Improvement is a comprehensive resource explaining the development of crop improvement methods over the centuries. This extensive history of development is examined in detail, including influential individuals in the field, plant cultivation in Asia since the Neolithic time, techniques used in the Old World, and cropping in ancient America. The advance of scientific plant breeding in the twentieth century is extensively explored, including hybrid breeding, biotechnological improvement, and genetic manipulation. The Concise Encyclopedia of Crop Improvement focuses on the full range of social and scientific advances in crop development. This concise yet detailed overview discusses leaders in the field, theories, achievements, disputes, and institutions that were crucial in the evolution of crop improvement, breeding, and plant genetics. Individual chapters discuss crop improvement within a specific time frame or geographic area as well as providing separate sections describing specific types or advances of breeding or scientific method. Numerous helpful tables, figures, and photos are included for idea clarity and illustration, and include comprehensive references. Topics in the Concise Encyclopedia of Crop Improvement include: * plant breeding development over the past 10,000 years * Arabic agriculture * Medieval and Renaissance agriculture in Europe * Mendel's laws--the beginning of genetic research * breeding by selection * pure lines and improvement of self-pollinated crops * positive and negative mass selection * backcross breeding * synthetics * mutation breeding * induced mutation * somaclonal variation by in vitro culture * much, much more The Concise Encyclopedia of Crop Improvement is essential for governmental, public, and academic libraries. This superb reference is a perfect desktop resource for students, educators, researchers, seed producers, historians, and anyone interested in agronomy, plant breeding, genetics, biotechnology, or biology.