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Background

Plant Science for Global Challenges

Feeding the world’s rapidly growing human population is one of the most urgent global challenges of our time. By 2050 it is predicted there will be over 9 billion people on the planet.

To meet the needs of a growing population we not only need to produce more food, but more accessible, reliable, and nutritious food. We need our crops to thrive in more challenging climates, and be resilient to new pests and diseases. We need renewable energy sources to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and novel plant-based materials for industry. We need all of these things without placing more pressure on already limited natural resources.

Plant science has a critical role to play if we are to meet food security and other challenges, and the Global Plant Council is here to help.

The Global Plant Council was founded in 2009 to provide a body that can speak with a single, strong voice in the policy and decision-making arena, and to promote plant science research and teaching around the world.

If you would like to keep up to date with the information posted on this website please sign up for our monthly e-Bulletin by clicking here and completing the form. Alternatively, please contact us at [email protected].

For our latest Annual Report (2016-2017), please click the link below:
GPC Annual Report 2017.pdf.

News

Origins and spread of Eurasian fruits traced to the ancient Silk Road

Studies of ancient preserved plant remains from a medieval archaeological site in the Pamir Mountains of Uzbekistan have shown that fruits, such as apples, peaches, apricots, and melons, were cultivated in the foothills of Inner Asia. The archaeobotanical study, conducted by Robert Spengler of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, is among the first systematic analyses of medieval agricultural crops in the heart of the ancient Silk Road. Spengler identified a rich assemblage of fruit and nut crops, showing that many of the crops we are all familiar with today were cultivated along the ancient trade routes.


Play-Doh helps plant research

When plants are in distress or being fed on by insects, they have been known to send out sensory volatile cues that alert organisms in the area -- such as birds -- that they are in need of help. While research has shown that this occurs in ecosystems such as forests, until now, this phenomenon has never been demonstrated in an agricultural setting.


Model way to protect trees

Oak processionary moth and ash dieback are among the most notorious tree pests and diseases intro-duced into the UK. And many exotic pests and diseases are suspected of having been introduced, or are known to have been introduced, through the import of commercial tree planting material.