Tobacco Research and Its Relevance to Science, Medicine and Industry

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This article is a historical review and a vision for the future of tobacco plant research. This is the perspective of an experienced tobacco scientist who devoted his total professional career to tobacco research. From the very beginning, pioneering tobacco research was the foundation of plant science at the dawn of modern development, in such areas as light, nutrition, genetics, growth control, disorders and metabolism. Tobacco research led to current advancements in plant biotechnology. In addition, tobacco plant research contributed significantly to public health research in radioactive elements, mycotoxins, and air pollutants. However, public support for tobacco research has today greatly declined to almost total elimination because of a sense of political correctness. This author points out that tobacco is one of the most valuable research tools, and is a most abundant source of scientific information. Research with tobacco plants will contribute far beyond the frontiers of agricultural science: tobacco can be a source of food supply with nutrition value similar to that of milk; tobacco can be a source of health supplies including medical chemicals and various vaccines; tobacco can be a source of biofuel. All we need is to treat tobacco with respect; the use of tobacco is only in its initial stages.

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  • 1. The United States Department of Agriculture: After a hundred years; The Yearbook of Agriculture 1962 pp. 688 The U.S. Government Printing Office Washington D.C. 1962.

  • 2. Tso T.C.: Physiology and biochemistry of tobacco plants; Dowden Hutchinson & Ross Inc. Strouds-burg Pennsylvania USA 1972.

  • 3. Tso T.C.: Production physiology and biochemistry of tobacco plant; International Institute of Develop-ment and Education in Agriculture and Life Sciences (IDEALS) Beltsville Maryland USA 1990.

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