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21st century crop science man

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Cambridge Partnership for Plant Sciences S E M I N A R

My vote for the year’s best quote goes to Dianna Bowles1 for “Today’s society is living on ancient sunlight”. It signals the urgent need for us to find alternatives to fossil reserves for all our energy and industrial feed stock requirements. The alternatives, of course, are crops fueled by the sunlight of today and tomorrow; worryingly, very few of these crops are optimized for their new uses. As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge, crop productivity has to double to feed 9 billion people in 2050.

So crop scientists face some significant challenges in the 21st century. This presentation will review advances in plant research and explore how these discoveries can be used to inform and deliver improvements in crop performance. Applying fancy science is only half the answer though; translation through to practical outcome requires different skills that are often overlooked and this is an area in which NIAB also aims to play a role.

1 “The Energy Challenge”, Venice, September 2007

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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