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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

Using the right plants can reduce indoor pollution and save energy

People in industrialized countries spend more than 80% of their lives indoors, increasingly in air-tight buildings. These structures require less energy for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning, but can be hazardous to human health if particulate matter and potentially toxic gases, including carbon monoxide, ozone, and volatile organic compounds, from sources such as furniture, paints, carpets, and office equipment accumulate. Plants absorb toxins and can improve indoor air quality, but surprisingly little is known about what plants are best for the job and how we can make plants perform better indoor.


Trees are not as 'sound asleep' as you may think

High-precision three-dimensional surveying of 21 different species of trees has revealed a yet unknown cycle of subtle canopy movement during the night. The 'sleep cycles' differed from one species to another. Detection of anomalies in overnight movement could become a future diagnostic tool to reveal stress or disease in crops.


Wood formation model to fuel progress in bioenergy, paper, new applications

A new systems biology model that mimics the process of wood formation allows scientists to predict the effects of switching on and off 21 pathway genes involved in producing lignin, a primary component of wood. The model, built on more than three decades of research led by Vincent Chiang of the Forest Biotechnology Group at North Carolina State University, will speed the process of engineering trees for specific needs in timber, biofuel, pulp, paper and green chemistry applications.