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CSS 330 World Food Crops
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CSS 330 World Food Crops

Lecture Outline, 2008

Week

Date

Unit

Topic

Week 1

March 31
1 • Global food security
• Early agriculture and development
• Impact of crop production on society and the environment
April 2
2 • Basic genetic concepts
• Origin of genetic diversity – Darwin, natural selection and evolution
• Morphological and genetic changes during crop domestication

Week 2

April 7
3 • Vavilov, centers of origin, spread of crops
• Environmental factors that affect plant growth
• Biomes and ecoregions
• Crop adaptation – C3 vs C4 plants, photoperiod, pollination controls
April 9
4 • Classification of plants
• Types of food crops and their contribution to human nutrition
• Production and geographic distribution of important food crops
• World food needs

Week 3

April 14
5 • Basic plant breeding concepts – gene pools, selection theory
• Genetic vulnerability – impact of monoculture
• Genetic resources and conservation
• Intellectual property and ownership – plant variety protection;
plant patenting, partnerships, impact of biotechnology, ethical issues
April 16
6 • Modern cultivar development – role of public and private agencies
• International agricultural research centers
• The Green Revolution and post Green Revolution crop improvement strategies
• Contributions of biotechnology and ag. chemical companies

Week 4

April 21
7 Wheat – see list of topics for each major crop below†
Focus: Role of polyploidy in evolution; end-use quality
April 23
8 Rice
Focus: Agroecologies and plant pathology issues

Week 5

April 28
9 Barley, Oats, Rye
Focus: Malting and brewing
April 30
10 Soybean, dry beans, groundnut, and other pulses
Focus: Nitrogen fixation; diverse end-uses; nutritional benefits

Week 6

May 5
11 Maize
Focus: Tropical production issues; hybrid corn industry
May 7
12 Sorghum, millet
Focus: Adaptation to drought and heat stress

Week 7

May 12
13 Sugar cane, sugar beets
Focus: Industrial processing
May 14
14 Oil crops – oil palm, cottonseed, rapeseed, and sunflower
Focus: Oil composition and processing

Week 8

May 19
15 Potato
Focus: Propagation issues; processing and quality
May 21
16 Tropical root and tuber crops - cassava, sweet potato, and yams
Focus: Subsistence agriculture

Week 9

May 26
17 Tomato, cabbage, and other vegetable crops
Focus: Crop evolution; genetic resources

Week 10

June 2
18 • Food security – potential impact of population growth, climate change, and government policy
• Sustainability of crop production systems
• Strategies for increasing food security
• Promise and controversy of biotechnology

Week 11

TBA
Final Exam

†Important information to be discussed on each major crop:

• Origin, taxonomy, genetic and reproductive systems
• Growth requirements; morphological, physiological, and adaptive traits
• Major production areas and world production statistics
• Genetic resources, genetic vulnerability
• Improvements in crop productivity and quality attained through plant breeding
• Critical management practices for the crop
• Major diseases and insect pests
• Postharvest processing and handling, end-uses, quality
• Economic value of the crop, marketing and trade
• Cultural significance of the crop
• Emerging issues and opportunities
Getting Started Schedule