Navigation Links
Dramatic changes in agriculture needed as world warms and grows, researchers say

The looming threats of global climate change and population growth call for sweeping changes in how the world produces its food and fiber, warns a group of prestigious scientists, including an expert in plant genetics at the University of California, Davis.

The research team, led by Nina Federoff, science and technology adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, suggests that there is a "critical need to get beyond popular biases against the use of agricultural biotechnology," as well as explore the potential of aquaculture and maximize agricultural production in dry and saline areas. Their recommendations will appear as a perspective piece titled "Radically Rethinking Agriculture for the 21st Century" in the Feb. 12 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers note that the impacts of climate change on agriculture and human health are already apparent. They point to the 2003 heat wave in Europe, which caused just a 3.5-degree rise in the average summer temperature, but killed 30,000 to 50,000 people. Gaining much less attention was the resulting 20 percent to 36 percent decrease in the yields of grains and fruit that summer.

"That dramatic drop in yield is just a foreshadowing of the challenges that lie ahead for agriculture during the 21st century, as temperatures rise and another 3 billion people are added to the global population," said UC Davis plant pathologist Pamela Ronald, a co-author on the perspective piece. Ronald and her laboratory are working on developing a new generation of crops that can better resist diseases and tolerate environmental stresses, including flooding.

"Global warming will alter the pattern of diseases among crops and also cause intense, periodic flooding," Ronald said. "The good news is that we have the ability, through conventional breeding and genetic engineering, to generate new varieties of our existing food crops that can better adapt to these environmental changes.

She noted, for example, that her research collaborators recently released a new rice variety for Bangladesh and India that can better withstand flooding, an environmental stress that reduces yearly yields by 4 million tons enough to feed 30 million people in these two countries.

The researchers also suggest that future food, feed and fiber crops would ideally be capable of making better use of nitrogen from the environment, to minimize water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions associated with chemical fertilizers.

Additionally, they recommend that efforts aimed at increasing agricultural productivity and eliminating global hunger should be focused on:

  • Re-evaluating restrictive regulatory policies that now govern the use of genetically modified crops;
  • Establishing a public facility within the U.S. Department of Agriculture for safety-testing genetically modified crops;
  • Integrating agriculture and aquaculture systems in order to sustainably raise crops, livestock and fish; and
  • Developing crops and productive farming systems for extremely dry and saline regions.


Contact: Patricia Bailey
University of California - Davis

Related biology technology :

1. ClearTrial to Demonstrate Dramatic Gains in Clinical Outsourcing Efficiency Achieved by Biopharmaceutical Companies at European Outsourcing Event
2. KanekaQH(TM) Ubiquinol Dramatically Boosts Ejection Fraction in Patients With Late-Stage Congestive Heart Failure
3. NVIDIA CUDA Technology Dramatically Advances the Pace of Scientific Research
4. ThalesNano Inc. and sanofi-aventis R&D Collaborate on Continuous Process Chemistry in Order to Dramatically Reduce Drug Realization Time
5. DolmatConnell & Partners 2008 Studies of CEO and CFO Compensation in the 100 Largest High Technology and Life Science Companies Show Dramatically Improving Link Between Pay and Performance
6. Researchers Document Rapid, Dramatic Reverse Evolution in the Threespine Stickleback Fish
7. Elusys Anthim(TM) Dramatically Improves Survival of Animals Treated After Active Anthrax Infection
8. Boston College, MIT researchers achieve dramatic increase in thermoelectric efficiency
9. PNH Patients Treated with Soliris(TM) Experienced Dramatic Reduction in Blood Clots During Clinical Trials
10. Journal of Biological Chemistry Changes Approach to Manuscript Reviews and Eliminates Submission Fees
11. Preliminary Climate and Sea Level Changes for Vanuatu Through the Application of SimCLIM
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ... and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 ... targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting class ... in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: ... 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:6/16/2016)... June 16, 2016 The ... expected to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, ... Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in ... expected to drive the market growth. ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... , June 3, 2016 ... von Nepal hat ... Lieferung hochsicherer geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung ... in der Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. ... Ausschreibung im Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of ... the latest premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):