Plant Science Research Summit

2011 Meeting Summary

The meeting summary, titled The Green Frontier: A Unified Vision for Plant Research, reflects some of the discussions and opinions exchanged during the September 2011 Plant Science Research Summit. The full document can be viewed as a PDF file here:  The Green Frontier: A Unified Vision for Plant Research 

We encourage reactions to this summary document and comments about any issues of relevance to the future of plant science. To submit comments, please “Leave a Reply” here or email


2 thoughts on “2011 Meeting Summary

  1. If you look at the way global agriculture evolved, you can clearly see a pattern. The so called farmer wanted to multiply a plant species and made it his staple food (which gives you most calories you are looking for!). Since the days of the first human civilization (Mesopotamian), up till today there are a very few staple food crops, rice, wheat, barley, oat, sorghum and a few millets. Scientists call all these plants ‘grasses’ (more technically, Poaceae). The humans have, never in history, included a non-grass as his ‘staple’ no tomato, nor any dicot for that matter!

    So, the global agriculture is but repeated cultivation of these few grasses again and again, no matter what happens to the rest of the plant species. Talking about biodiversity oblivious of this background is but elitism until we have the last mouth to feed!

  2. The most critical area is preservation of plant germaplasm diversity. This is the mission-critical and it may not be glamorous but it is absolutely essential. This is fundamental to all humankind and to ecosystems that we can not envision today but will certainly evolve and emerge. We owe a comprehensive program for this first and above all.

    Then comes deeper understanding of plant and biospheric processes, genetic improvements,characterization and use of genes and traits.

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