"Weeds are rarely considered a priority despite the fact that all active farmers know that the majority of their variable costs and time are devoted to eradicating them. Even most crop losses due to pests can be traced directly back to weeds, which harbor the pests as secondary hosts.
In the Molecular Biology of Weed Control, Jonathan Gressel focuses attention upon the tools of molecular biology that can be used effectively in the science of weed control. Always keeping his perspective congruent with that of the working farmer, Gressel explains how weed biologists and ecologists are beginning to use recently developed tools to control intransigent weed species in modern as well as less developed areas of the world. With his usual candor, Gressel evaluates past efforts, while also exploring future prospects for replacing chemical herbicides with genetic engineering, to improve a crop's ability to compete against its feral cousins for light, nutrients, and water.
Like much of Gressel's work, this book should be mandatory reading for all agriculturists and plant scientists, so that they employ and encourage what is truly effective and efficient in meeting one of this century's most critical challenges: maximizing agricultural productivity.
Table of Contents
Molecular Tools for Herbicide Discovery
Molecular Tools for Studying Weed Biology, Ecology, and Taxonomy
Evolution of Resistance to Herbicides
Molecular Biochemistry of Resistances that have Evolved in the Field
Generation of Biotechnologically-Derived Herbicide-Resistant Crops (BD-HRC)
The Next Generations of BD-HRC
Transgene Introgression from Crops to Weeds and its Modulation
Modifying Crops and Weeds to Directly Control Weeds
Molecular Biology in Weed Biocontrol
"Few weed scientists are willing or able to put their heads on the block by challenging established nostrums and speculating constructively on the future. Professor Gressel is brave enough to do so and should be heeded as one of the few stellar figures we have in the discipline …inspirational, provocative and pedantic, the maverick author takes us on a wide ranging tour… proposing radical new approaches to weed control."
- David Cole in Pesticide Outlook
"Anyone who knows him will recognize this book as quintessential Jonny Gressel, full of provocative ideas and opinions. …Jonny obviously had fun writing this book, and anyone with an interest in agriculture and molecular biology will enjoy reading it."
- Jim Westwood in Haustorium: Parasitic Plants Newsletter
"…from traditional farming to environmental sciences to the latest developments in biotechnology and genetics. …more than just a compendium of terms as it presents clear, concise definitions … sure to be a frequently consulted work in anyone's library."
- P.L. Pisani
"Jonny Gressel has written an ambitious book that tackles a broad range of weed control issues from a molecular biologist's point of view. Everything from herbicide mechanisms of action, to weed ecology, to biological control is considered and analyzed in light of the fundamental biochemical and genetic principles that control them. The result is a book that maintains an integrated view of biology. …
"Anyone who knows him will recognize this book as quintessential Jonny Gressel, full of provocative ideas and opinions. …It is packed with ideas, many of them juxtaposed in intriguing combination, … Jonny obviously had fun writing this book, and anyone with an interest in agriculture and molecular biology will enjoy reading it."
- Haustorium: Parasitic Plants Newsletter, 41, July 2002