In the course of the last two or three centuries artificial induction of mutations has become a useful tool, though in most cases a rather modest one, available to plant breeders for producing better plant varieties for mankind. Crop plants with characters genetically improved by mutation induction can be used either immediately as new varieties or, in an increasing number of cases, further used in crosses, e.g. with varieties that show good adaptation to local conditions. Over the years the joint division of IAEA and FAO in Vienna has organized a number of symposia on different aspects of such applications of induced mutations. The worldwide distribution of proceedings of those meetings has undoubtedly contributed considerably to the present situation where a regular and realistic use is made of mutation breeding. In this way several hundreds of plant varieties, some of them of considerable economic importance, have been obtained.