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Big boost to plant research
Date:11/22/2011

n people in the next few decades, and water and land resources decrease, we are going to ask more and more from plants to provide food, fuel and fiber."

In a recent meeting of researchers and scientists from member institutions, hosted by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, AIPI affirmed its initial research objectives in three core areas of plant science research:

  • The development of plants as sources of renewable energy. Grasses, grains, trees and algae are being developed as potential energy sources, including transportation fuels. AIPI scientists will research how to design and deploy plants to contribute to energy needs without depleting soil and water resources, and without competing with food production.

  • The improvement of plants' abilities to provide an unparalleled range of "ecosystem services" to the planet. Plants filter groundwater, reduce erosion, absorb carbon dioxide and generate oxygen. AIPI researchers want to improve these processes and help mankind use them in novel ways.

  • The continued development of sustainable agriculture practices. Plants underpin all agriculture, whether used as food for humans, as feed for animals or to produce fiber. Sustainable practices both decrease costs to farmers, and provide environmental and consumer benefits.

To accomplish these objectives, AIPI scientists will coordinate projects that study plant growth, development, and chemistry; plant interactions with insects, fungi and bacteria; and metabolic processes, such as oil production and photosynthesis.

"Plants are some of the most highly complex organisms on the planet," said Jan Jaworksi, member, Danforth Plant Science Center. "AIPI researchers are dividing up the research into primary areas so that we can generate the most profound and useful discoveries."

Coordinated deployment of the member institution's expertise will lead to a deeper understanding of how plants rea
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Contact: Wolf Frommer
wfrommer@CarnegieScience.edu
650-325-1521
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert

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