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How Genomics Can Help Feed Earth's Growing Human Population

Paper Reviewed
Abberton, M., Batley, J., Bentley, A., Bryant, J., Cai, H., Cockram, J., Costa de Oliveira, A., Cseke, L.J., Dempewolf, H., De Pace, C., Edwards, D., Gepts, P., Greenland, A., Hall, A.E., Henry R., Hori, K., Howe, G.T., Hughes, S., Humphreys, M., Lightfoot, D., Marshall, A., Mayes, S., Nguyen, H.T., Ogbonnaya, F.C., Oritiz, R., Paterson, A.J., Tuberosa, R., Valliyodan, B., Varshney, R.K. and Yano, M. 2016. Global agricultural intensification during climate change: a role for genomics. Plant Biotechnology Journal 14: 1095-1098.

Writing that "agriculture is now facing the 'perfect storm' of climate change, increasing costs of fertilizer and rising food demands from a larger and wealthier human population," Abberton et al. (2016) note that "these factors point to a global food deficit unless the efficiency and resilience of crop production is increased." And in this regard they note that "genomics offers unprecedented opportunities to increase crop yield, quality and stability of production through advanced breeding strategies, enhancing the resilience of major crops to climate variability, and increasing the productivity and range of minor crops to diversify the food supply," and, we would add, to greatly increase it.

More specifically, the 30 researchers, hailing from a dozen different countries, describe how the field of genomics "offers unprecedented opportunities to increase crop yield, quality and stability of production through advanced breeding strategies," thereby "enhancing the resilience of major crops to climate variability, and increasing the productivity and range of minor crops to diversify the food supply." And, therefore, rather than bemoaning the erroneously-predicted CO2-induced overheating of Earth's climate by the world's climate alarmists and their draconian suggestions for attempting to keep it from happening, they go on to state that "by working together, leading crop genome researchers can help safeguard future food supplies."

Clearly, we do not need to shut down the world's coal, gas and oil industries to maintain an adequate food supply for the Earth's many inhabitants for as far into the future as we can reasonably see.

Posted 30 August 2015