Modern Applied Botany: Changes in the perception of applied botanists to themselves and others during the last century.
Subsequent to a short chronicle of the history of applied research in plant biology in Germany, the relevance of modern Applied Botany is illustrated by three relevant post-harvest processes. The metabolic reactions that play a key role in the determination of quality of the related plant-derived commodities from each are presented. Increased understanding of the processes involved in these processes has facilitated improvement of product quality in the resulting products. In each instance, it has been necessary to regard plant metabolism comprehensively and not to focus on a single physiological process. Moreover, the various interactions with the environment have to be considered. These illustrations demonstrate that transfer and application of basic plant knowledge into product-related research can provide significant information that is valuable for improvement of plant-derived products. In some instances, these correlations can even account for traditional and well-established processes, as illustrated for the malting process. However, interdisciplinary work and intensive cooperation with growers and producers must be an integral part of developing feasible and economically acceptable solutions that can be transferred into practice. Ultimately, the major challenge in Applied Botany today is the implementation of new concepts and ideas into product-related research. In consequence, modern Applied Botany acts as a mediator between basic plant science and industrial, product-related research.
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