This book provides coverage of the world's major economically significant crop plants and a critical resume of important research findings. Each chapter gives cytotaxonomic background, early history, recent history and future prospects of an individual crop or species. The chapters have a standard format to allow easy comparison between species, and includes detailed examination of: cytotaxonomic background, early history, recent history and future prospects. A major theme of this edition is biodiversity, which is currently attracting a great deal of international interest. In addition, it considers the rapid advances made in the field, along with new molecular techniques that have provided major advances in knowledge. The book is suitable for plant breeders, pathologists, entomologists and students of agriculture and crop evolution.