Aestivation

An organism's survival of a hot dry summer. Aflatoxin

Toxins produced by Aspergillus flavus and related fungi. Mouldy feedstuffs contaminated with aflatoxins have caused severe disease and mortalities in livestock, particularly poultry. African millet

See: Eleusine coracana. Agaric

Any member of the Agaricaceae, a fungus family in which the fruiting bodies are mushroom shaped. Agave sisalana

Sisal. Once an important bast fibre crop in its centre of origin in Mexico, and also in East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania), sisal has been largely supplanted by synthetic fibres. Seed set in sisal is extremely rare and breeding this crop is far too difficult for amateur breeders. Agriculture

Agriculture was independently discovered and developed by many different groups of people in various parts of the world, the main centres being based on the crops wheat (Europe), maize (Central and South America), and rice (Southeast Asia). Agriculture consists of the propagation and nurturing of domesticated animals and plants. The cultivation of crop plants is now divided into agricultural and horticultural crops. The latter involve a wide array of fruit and vegetables and offer great scope for amateur breeders. Commercial agriculture is undertaken for financial gain, while subsistence agriculture, mainly in the tropics, is undertaken to feed the farmer and his family, possibly with the sale of some subsistence surpluses. Most subsistence crops also offer great scope for amateur breeders. Forestry involves the cultivation of trees for timber and it too offers scope for amateur breeders. Agrobacterium

Agrobacteriium tumefaciens is the bacterium that causes a disease called crown gall on many different species of host, most particularly on temperate fruit trees. The galls can grow to the size of a football if left untreated. Amateur breeders working with rootstocks of fruit trees may care to take resistance to this bacterium into consideration in their breeding. Genetic engineers use this bacterium as a means of introducing foreign DNA into a plant, but this is not a technique for amateurs.

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