Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener: How to Create Unique Vegetables & Flowers

Joseph Tychonievich. Timber, $19.95 trade paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-60469-364-5
In his first book, horticulturist and geneticist Tychonievich tries to help average gardeners avoid feeling intimidated about DNA manipulation of plants. He likens the latter process to passing on a family chocolate-chip cookie recipe. Even so, the associated science, and terms such as genes, chromosomes, recombination, polypoidy, and (hold your nose) inbreeding are unavoidable and plentiful. With his playful attitude, the writer helps the gardener understand the problematic nature of inbreeding: “If you take a plant, and make it have sex with itself by self-pollinating it, then in the next generation, the number of genes which are heterozygous drops, on average, in half.” The analogies are helpful. While only the resolute gardener will benefit from this book, that gardener will also be thankful that a skilled geneticist with a green thumb and a heart for the average citizen has opened up a universe of horticultural possibility to those who, for too long, have had to defer to the scientific elite when it comes to DNA manipulation. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-1-60469-537-3
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