In a letter to the editors* of Nature, John R. Porter, Chair of the Independent Steering Committee for the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat, and Tony Fischer, Honorary Research Fellow, CSIRO Plant Industry, Australia, and former Director of the CIMMYT Wheat Program, along with other leading crop scientists, question where functional plant genomics research is headed. Their letter stems from a recent Editorial about reported progress in the 11th Plant Genomes Meeting. Porter et al. ask “what has been gained from decoding the alphabet of gene sequences,” and “when will the promise of genetics be translated into higher yields in farmers’ fields?”
“The best and most relevant research for crop science begins and ends in the field,” say Porter et al.
They call for an interdisciplinary approach aligning functional genomics with crop agronomy, while keeping food security in clear sight and contributing to the yield growth in crop production required to feed billions more consumers in coming decades.
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