To the Members of the Listgroup,
This is intended primarily to those members who are involved in
courses on plant biotechnology on the undergraduate level. Below,
I include my correspondence with C.S. Prakash. Your suggestions
and comments on the questions raised are much appreciated.
Dear Dr. Prakash,
I am planning to offer a new course on plant
biotechnology as it relates to food and environmental
issues. The course is intended for students in our
recently established environmental studies major
who will enroll in the course after completing
two semesters of introductory biology and one semester
of chemistry. The environmental studies major (in
contrast to our biology and biochemistry majors)
offers training primarily in the social and policy
aspects of environmental issues, while intending to
provide a firm base of biological science for these
I know of your work on transgenic crop plants
intended for developing countries. I wonder if you could
give me references on your research for use in
my new course?
Also, in case you are involved in teaching courses
on plant biotechnology on the undergraduate level,
I would appreciate comments on source materials
that you might use.
Presently, I am considering Sheldon Krimsky's
Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment
(University of Illinois Press, 1966) possibly as my
main text. Can you suggest anything more recent?
For recent material on plant biotechnology and food,
I plan to rely heavily on the last several issues of
NABC Reports. Also, Gordon Conway's The
Green Revolution seems to be a good ancillary source
as it relates to global food issues.
The course will include a unit on the basics of plant
molecular genetics, the technology of gene transfer,
and the properties of transgenic plants. For this, I
will use: D. Wong, The ABCs of Gene Cloning,
Chapman & Hall, 1997. This is a short book covering
the basics of genetic technology intended for a general
These sources cover much of what I want to cover.
A key gap seems to relate to the use of biotechnology
in improving food production in the developing world.
Any information on this would be much appreciated.