Our requirement for plant breeders to be successful has never been greater. However one views the forecasted numbers for future population growth we will need, in the immediate future, to be feeding, clothing and housing many more people than we do, inadequately, at present. Plant breeding represents the most valuable strategy in increasing our productivity in a way that is sustainable and environmentally sensitive. Plant breeding can rightly be considered as one of the oldest multidisciplinary subjects that is kwn to humans. It was practised by people who first started to carry out a settled form of agriculture. The art, as it must have been at that stage, was applied without any formal underlying framework, but achieved dramatic results, as witnessed by the forms of cultivated plants we have today. We are w learning how to apply successfully the results of yet imperfect scientific kwledge. This kwledge is, however, rapidly developing, particularly in areas of tissue culture, biotechlogy and molecular biology. Plant breeding's inherent multifaceted nature means that alongside obvious subject areas like genetics we also need to consider areas such as: statistics, physiology, plant pathology, entomology, biochemistry, weed science, quality, seed characteristics, repro- ductive biology, trial design, selection and computing. It therefore seems apparent that modern plant breeders need to have a grasp of wide range of scientific kwledge and expertise if they are successfully to a exploit the techniques, protocols and strategies which are open to them.