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Higher Yielding Perennials Point the Way to New Crops

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Science  29 Nov 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5292, pp. 1469-1470
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5292.1469


Today, almost all of our major crops are herbaceous annuals—plants such as corn and soybeans that have to be replanted every year. These plants have a big advantage: They produce masses of seeds. Recent results from a few agricultural pioneers suggest, however, that it is possible to boost dramatically the seed yields of at least some perennials, including cousins to corn and wheat. These studies may eventually lead to new, more environmentally friendly crops.