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What Is a Plant Cell? The Last Word.

well for much longer. Having in hand genes that confer acclimation to stresses such as high salt as well as an understanding of how they function will be a boon to agronomists trying to improve crops. In addition, from the point of view of conservation and preservation, identifying limiting factors and measuring genetic diversity will be of tremendous advantage to policymakers. If we could determine whether, for example, a coastal alga1 bloom is caused by nitrogen overload from fertilizer runoff or from some natural cyclical process, we would be in a position to make rational policy decisions. Ecologists will also be in a better position to predict how impending environmental changes-including the introduction of genetically engineeredorganisms into the environment-will affect ecosystems. As inhabitants of the world, we may not be able or willing to change our behaviors, but, at the least, we will get a clearer picture of where they may lead us. LETTER TO THE EDITOR What 1 a Plant Cell? The Last Word s I have followed with interest and concern the discussion about how to define a plant cell, which has appeared in recent issues of this journal (H. Stafford, 1991, What is a plant http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Plant Cell American Society of Plant Biologist

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