Elusine coracana

Finger millet, also known as African millet, as well as wimbi, bullo, telebun, and other vernacular names. It is an important crop in the drier areas of Africa and India, although sorghum and bulrush millet are more drought-resistant. It has a wide range of uses as flour, as an additive to various dishes, and for brewing. In a dry climate, it stores well for up to ten years. Finger millet is self-pollinated and there are innumerable cultivar in both Africa and India. A suitable crop for amateur breeders , who should start by selecting within local landraces that are mixtures of inbreeding lines. Emasculation

The physical removal of the anthers from a hermaphrodite flower, or the male flowers from a monoecious plant, in order to prevent self-pollination, and to compel cross-pollination. Alternative methods involve the use of a male-sterility gene, or a male gametocide. Embryo

An unborn, unhatched, or ungerminated offspring. An embryo normally results from the fusion of a male gamete with a female gamete. However, in plants, nucellar embryos and apomictic seeds are also possible. See also: Metaxenia. Emergent property

This concept was first defined by C.D. Broad some eighty years ago. An emergent property is one that emerges at a particular level of complexity, a particular systems level, but which cannot occur at a lower systems level. Thus, the system of locking of the gene-for-gene relationship is an emergent that is possible only at the systems level of the two interacting populations of the pathosystem. There must be a population of many different locks, and many different keys, if a system of locking is to function. At the lower systems levels of an individual lock, or an individual tumbler within a lock, a system of locking is impossible. The danger of doing research at too low a systems level is that an emergent may not be apparent. This is a major cause of suboptimisation.

Possibly the best example of emergent properties in biology is the schooling of fish, and the flocking of birds. A scientist studying a single fish in an aquarium, or a single bird in an aviary, cannot possibly observe the phenomenon of schooling or flocking because this property emerges only at the systems level of the population. Empirical science

Science that emphasises facts, as opposed to concepts and theories. Its converse is rationalism. Either extreme constitutes bad science, and good science must be a blend of both facts and theories.

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