Observatorio de I+D+i UPM

Memorias de investigación
Artículos en revistas:
Plant biotechnology: From the lab to the field: The age of translational plant biology.
Áreas de investigación
  • Biología molecular, celular y genética
The first decade of the 21st century has seen an intense debate of the potential contribution of Plant Biotechnology to meeting present and future world demands of food and biomass. The discussion started in 1997 when the first genetically modified (GM) crops were approved by the EPA for commercial production. The debate has been later stimulated by the increasing awareness of the potential effects of global climate change on agricultural production, as the current crops may be poorly adapted to the additional biotic and abiotic stresses caused by the change. Although cultivation of GM crops now exceeds 120 million hectares, the impact of plant biotechnology on agriculture is, surprisingly, still a matter of debate. While some groups oppose this technology for environmental and food security reasons, farmers are eager to adopt it and the overwhelming majority of scientists is demanding greater investments in plant biology and agricultural research, as well as a greater effort to translate lab results into field applications. Additionally, there is a demand to further extend plant biotechnology to other crops, such as those relevant for developing countries and those related to bioenergy production and green chemical products. The need for translational plant biology is adding pressure to experimental scientists, as it has been tied to the contribution of public funds to their research. Progress has been clearly limited by excessive regulations on transgenic research and by the increasing cost of introducing novel traits in crops other than the ¿big 4¿, maize, wheat, soybean and rice. However, the most important limitation is the complexity of the plant biological processes and agricultural traits of interest, which has been found to be higher than expected. After 15 years of GM crops, it has become evident that a deeper understanding of plant biological processes is required to facilitate the transfer of novel technologies to the field, this is particularly true with respect to plant development and the responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. Therefore, the major challenge is to improve crop productivity to get more food/feed and biomass per hectare and to do so with a more efficient use of water, energy and agrochemicals
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  • Autor: Antonio Molina Fernandez (UPM)
Grupos de investigación, Departamentos, Centros e Institutos de I+D+i relacionados
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Interacciones Moleculares Planta-Patógeno
  • Centro o Instituto I+D+i: Centro de Biotecnología y Genómica de Plantas, CBGP
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