The world population keeps growing, more people want better diets, and climate change puts food production at risk. All these global trends mean we as a civilisation will have to act now to make sure we will still have enough food in the next few decades.
Plant science can offer crucial support for this quest in a number of ways. Improvements in crop yield through genetic engineering are a controversial route, but even by tracking down wild relatives of crop plants and feeding their desirable traits into the gene pool by conventional breeding, plant scientists can help to improve global food security. Importantly, bridges must be built between fundamental research in plant science and the applied research in agriculture.
These issues are covered in some detail in my latest feature which is out today:
Plant science called up to provide food security
Volume 24, Issue 23, pR1105–R1108, 1 December 2014
The feature was inspired by this special issue of the American Journal of Botany (October 2014):