Sustainable bio-energy and biobased products
The use of fossil resources, like coal and petrol, results in a net increase of atmospheric CO2, which reinforces climate change. Plants have the unique ability to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it into biomass. This makes sustainably grown and processed plants a renewable and environmental friendly resource for biofuels and biochemicals. Plants with a novel composition that better suits industrial processing are a highly valuable asset for tomorrow’s bio-based society.
Climate resilient crops
Climate change is one of the most serious threats humanity has ever faced. Developing crops more tolerant to rapidly changing and more severe environments, e.g. water shortage and elevated temperatures, will be crucial for tomorrow’s food production. Green biotechnology, together with other innovative strategies to adapt current agricultural approaches, offers a solution to maintain high food productivity while preserving earth’s valuable ecosystems.
Nature has provided us with a wealth of plant species that have evolved to cope with harsh environments. Genetic variation as a driver for this diversity can lead us to solutions for plant production in a changing environment. With the genomics revolution, we now have the tools at hand to fully grasp this potential. The opportunity to mine breeding stocks and seed banks also brings the obligation to help protect it.
Innovative crop care
Crops are under continuous threats, which hypothecate food production. Innovative solutions that optimize crop productivity and quality with a minimal impact on the environment are needed. This involves a plethora of strategies, including the study of the rhizosphere, the use of beneficial microorganisms, crop imaging for precision agriculture, diagnosis tools for crop traits, and the identification of novel growth regulators.
Plants and human health
Food has a great impact on our health and the prevention of disease. In a society where food is abundant, health depends on a balanced diet. This not only depends on grains, vegetables and fruits that are produced safely, but also on sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals, and access to health-promoting molecules. Research on plant metabolic pathways is needed to produce food sources or plant-derived products for the benefit of public health.