> Crop improvement thru sex, not the gene gun. Plant sex, I mean.
Your apparent (perhaps feigned) surprise at this struck me as odd,
because 99% of what plant breeders (even the most transgenically
oriented) do is sexual recombination (of the plants, that is). Working
with corn in this way is fun, and so easy. Most of the value in modern
corn varieties, even the transgenics, comes from sexual reshuffling of
the deck, and selfing to deal the hand. Big companies like Pioneer have
an advantage, mainly because we can play a lot of hands and find the
> The AHP/Monsanto merger really has my thinking-gears turning, around
> the future of sustainable ag and small-scale and local food
> production, and the relationship of Real Life (the kind with things
> like plant sex) to Intellectual Property.
I'm trying to imagine what image you have in your mind about people who
work at Monsanto or Pioneer. Believe me, there is "real life" here
(well, maybe not at Monsanto ;-) ), the normal human foibles, people who
work hard, armies of kids making selfs and crosses, breeders intimately
familiar with the crop. Intellectual property rights provide incentive
to do all this work, and it is a lot of work. BTW, we have a big effort
to improve silage quality too.
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