[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

plants in organic breeding

Published in Crop Sci. 43:1922-1929 (2003).

Concepts of Intrinsic Value and Integrity of Plants in Organic Plant
Breeding and Propagation
E. T. Lammerts van Bueren*,a, P. C. Struikb, M. Tiemens-Hulschera and E.
a Louis Bolk Inst., Hoofdstraat 24, NL-3972 LA Driebergen, the Netherlands
b Wageningen Univ., Dep. of Plant Sci., Crop and Weed Ecology Group,
Haarweg 333, 6709 RZ Wageningen, the Netherlands
c Wageningen Univ., Dep. of Plant Sci., Laboratory of Plant Breeding,
Binnenhaven 5, 6709 PD Wageningen, the Netherlands

* Corresponding author (e.lammerts@louisbolk.nl).

The natural approach taken by organic agriculture obviates the use of
synthetic agrochemicals and emphasizes farming in accordance with
agroecological principles. Also implicit in this approach is an
appreciation for the integrity of living farm organisms, with the
integrity being evaluated from a biocentric perspective. The ethical
value assigned to integrity of organisms has challenged us to develop
criteria for evaluating both integrity and breeding techniques. For
cultivated plants, integrity refers to their inherent nature, their
wholeness, completeness, species-specific characteristics, and their
being in balance with their (organically farmed) environment. We
evaluate integrity using criteria derived from four different
perspectives: integrity of life, plant-specific integrity, genotypic
integrity, and phenotypic integrity. These criteria were used to assess
whether existing breeding and propagation techniques violate the
integrity of crop plants. In vitro techniques and techniques that
engineer at the DNA level appeared to be incompatible with the integrity
of crops, with the exception of use of DNA markers. On the other hand,
breeding techniques that work at the level of breeding, evaluation, and
selection for whole plant performance, and which do not break
reproductive barriers between species, may conform to the principles of
organic farming. In the selection process, the so-called breeder's eye
can be developed to become a more consciously applied instrument for
perceiving and assessing aspects of the wholeness or phenotypic
integrity of a plant. Thus, the challenge given by the organic community
to breeders implies the further development of scientific approaches,
evaluation, and choice of breeding techniques, and the systematic
development of the respectful and artful eye of the individual breeder.


To unsubscribe from SANET-MG:
1- Visit http://lists.sare.org/archives/sanet-mg.html and unsubscribe by typing in your e-mail address or;
2- Send a message to <listserv@sare.org> from the address subscribed to the list. Type "unsubscribe sanet-mg" in the body of the message.

Visit the SANET-MG archives at: http://lists.sare.org/archives/sanet-mg.html