‘The UK’s plant science research base has great strengths in discovery research and innovation…’
A ten-year roadmap, published by UKRI, has set out clear goals for research and innovation involving plants.
The UK Plant Science Research Strategy: A green roadmap for the next ten-years which has been led and authored by Professor Jane Langdale CBE FRS, University of Oxford, outlines six deliverables. These include resilient agricultural systems to sustainably produce safe and nutritious food; accomplished by using advanced plans breeding and crop management, along with proactive mechanisms to monitor, contain and deter plant disease, achieved with remote sensing and other methods.
The published roadmap is said to be crucial in addressing global challenges such as reaching net-zero, ensuring a sustainable and secure agri-food supply, as well as addressing health and wellbeing issues.
The strategy document states ‘Recent technological advances in genome editing, advanced imaging, synthetic and structural biology, remote sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, provide an unprecedented opportunity to apply a systems approach to understand how plants function and interact with other organisms.’
Welcoming publication of the roadmap; Professor Melanie Welham, Executive Chair of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council said; ‘The UK’s plant science research base has great strengths in discovery research and innovation…There are real opportunities to advance knowledge across the areas highlighted in the strategy, helping create a vibrant bioeconomy, supporting growth and jobs.’
The roadmap was developed through extensive consultation with the members of the research and development community.