This text provides students with a summary of the interactions between humans and plants from early history to the present. Enough general botany is provided to orient readers to parts of the plants discussed and their mechanisms of function. Unlike other texts on economic botany, this book discusses molecular methods in the study and alteration of crop plants. Drawings and explanations illustrate how molecular methods are being employed to discover relationships between agricultural crops and their wild relatives. Similarly, the steps involved in plant genetic engineering are illustrated and explained. By relating aspects of morphology and evolution to plants that are familiar to students, concepts should be easy for students to remember. This edition has been revised and updated to include more modern uses of plants. Discussion of the health benefits of many species has been integrated throughout.