Today, much emphasis is placed on the prospects of using genetically
modified (GM) crops to withstand pests and diseases or other environ -
mental pressures such as water stress, and to modify them so that they withstand
herbicide treatment that kills weeds. Yet we should not overlook the great strides
in overcoming pests and diseases that continue to be made with conventional
plant breeding. In recent years, the story of breeding for resistance to coffee wilt
disease (CWD) is an important reminder that conventional plant breeding still has a place in the armamentarium of the modern plant breeder.