What traits would the “perfect plant” have? In Science’s “Sowing the Seeds for the Ideal Crop,” researchers present a wish list of crop improvements needed to increase production and achieve sustainability.
Some of researchers’ “lofty goals” include restructuring root and leaf architecture to increase water use efficiency, improving the nutrient content of seeds and edible plant parts, and adding genes for toxins that will kill only pest insects.
The article also discusses technologies that can make these changes possible, such as artificial chromosomes, RNA interference, targeted gene replacement and robotics. While these techniques are still being developed and refined, it is clear to scientists that they are part of the solution to providing more food for the world.
Science also provides further insight into how to feed the world’s growing population with their video, “Feeding the Future.”