FUTURE PROOFED CROPS
Christine Raines, Andreas Weber, Francesco Loreto, Alain Gojon, René Klein Lankhorst
Our climate is changing and the world population is growing to an estimated 10 billion people by 2050. This will cause serious problems in global food supply, for environment sustainability and safeguarding Earth’s biodiversity. To overcome these challenges, agriculture will have to adapt and a key element in this will be the development of “future-proof” crops. These crops will not only have to be high-yielding and providing high-quality products, but should also be able to withstand future climate conditions, make efficient use of scarce resources such as water and minerals, and sustainably self-defend against abiotic and biotic stresses. Future crops should also support the circular bio-based economy and contribute to mitigating the biodiversity crisis and reducing atmospheric CO2 concentration.
The WG “Future proofed crops” will support the delivery of high yielding, resilient European crops fit for climatological, environmental, and societal constraints. Our major focus is on developing crops that have a more efficient photosynthesis, that can resist to abiotic stress to avoid nutrient and/or water limitation of CO2 fixation and that have an optimizing resource use efficiency. We acknowledge that future-proofed crops will have to be grown in a sustainable agricultural system that takes into account Earth’s capacities. Therefore, this WG will actively engage with other entities involved in, for instance, protection against future pests and diseases (EPSO Plant Health WG), plants and microbiome interaction (EPSO MiBi WG), nutritional security (EPSO WG NS), agricultural technologies (EPSO AgT WG), adaptation of agronomy and cultivation/production systems, agro-ecology, and development of future post-harvest processing and food production.
We also have a clear focus on future proofing crops for non-food purposes. The main drivers behind this aspect are increasing the photosynthetic sink of CO2 for climate change mitigation, and supporting a global shift from a fossil based economy towards a biobased economy.
The WG will form a platform for European scientists to cooperate and exchange information about future proofing European crops. We have a clear focus on developing practical measures for crop improvement which will require a close cooperation with the breeding industry, farmers and other stakeholders in plant-based value chains. Industrial parties therefore are explicitly welcomed as observers of our working group.
Furthermore, this WG will advise the European Commission and other European bodies in matters pertaining to the design and implementation of future crops. Also, we will stimulate research cooperation at the European level and leverage funding for scientific research in the field of future proofing crops.
This WG evolved from the Horizon 2020 funded ‘CropBooster-P’ (1.11.2018 – 30.4.2022) Coordination and Support Action developing a roadmap for boosting global crop yield for food and nutritional security and to fuel the bioeconomy.
EPSO news developed by this WG:
Register for the 14th EPSO Plant Science Seminar – the 23rdJune 2022 seminar will focus on “Future Proof Crops”
The 14th European-wide seminar of the series supported by the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) and aimed at the Plant Science community and its stakeholders. TTT: usually, the seminar will be held online each third Thursday of the month at three (CET). This...
EPSO Members are invited to join the new ‘Future Proofed Crops’ Working Group – focus on abiotic stress, photosynthesis and resource use efficiency
EPSO is pleased to announce the start of its new Working Group ‘Future Proofed Crops’. It will focus on adapting our crops to the shifting climate, to improve abiotic stress, photosynthesis and resource use efficiency of crops, and to stably increase crop yield and -...
Opinion paper: Designing the Crops for the Future; The CropBooster Program – mobilize the European plant research community and all interested actors in agri-food research and innovation to face the challenge
Our climate is changing and the world population is growing to an estimated 10 billion people by 2050. This may cause serious problems in global food supply, protection of the environment and safeguarding Earth’s biodiversity. To face this challenge, agriculture will...
Relevant news from other sources:
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Juan Arellano, IRNASA-CSIC, ES
Alexandra Baekelandt, VIB-UGent, BE
Etienne Bucher, Agroscope, CH
Camila Caldana, MPIMP, DE
Siri Caspersen, SLU, SE
Amanda Cavanagh, Univ. Essex, UK
Evelyne Costes, INRAE, FR
Alisdair Fernie, MPIMP, DE
Alain Gojon, INRAE, FR
Neil Graham, Univ. Nottingham, UK
Rob Hancock, Hutton, UK
Jeremy Harbinson, WUR, NL
Liina Jakobson, ETKI, EE
René Klein Lankhorst, WUR, NL
Lorenz Kottmann, JKI, DE
Tracy Lawson, Univ. Essex, UK
Francesco Loreto, CNR , IT
Fatemeh Maghuly, BOKU, AT
Guillermina Mendiondo, Univ. Nottingham, UK
Karin Metzlaff, EPSO
Rosa Morcuende, IRNASA-CSIC, ES
Tomas Morosinotto, Univ. Padova, IT
Philippe Nacry, INRAE, FR
Sonia Negrao, UCD, IE
Pablo Pulido, CNB-CSIC , ES
Christine Raines, Univ. Essex, UK
Nelson Saibo, ITQB, PT
Giedre Samuoliene, LAMMC, LT
Andrea Schubert, UNITO, IT
Rüdiger Simon, Univ. Dusseldorf, DE
Tracy Valentine, Hutton, UK
Frank Van Breusegem, VIB-UGent, BE
Guido van den Ackerveken, Univ. Utrecht, NL
Carlota Vaz Patto, ITQB, PT
Ruben Vicente, ITQB, PT
Ralf Wilhelm, JKI, DE
Jian Xu, Univ. Radboud, NL
Samuel Zeeman, ETH, CH
Amrit Nanda, Plant ETP, BE
Michael Hodges, Paris-Saclay, FR
Shyam Pariyar, Univ. Bonn, DE
Michael Selvaraj, CGIAR,
Nick Vangheluwe, Euroseeds, BE