GPC Members Login
If you have any problems or have forgotten your login please contact [email protected]

UK Plant scientists and MPs come together for Growing the Future report launch

The Royal Society of Biology released a new report about opportunities arising in plant sciences.

The report, Growing the future, was prepared by the Society’s special advisory committee for plant science, the UK Plant Sciences Federation (UKPSF). Bill Davies, president of the GPC was part of the committee.

To launch the report, the Society convened a breakfast meeting in the Houses of Parliament, bringing together leading plant scientists, MPs and peers, researchers and education specialists, along with representatives of government departments and the Research Councils.

Growing the future highlights to policymakers and others the excellence of plant science in the UK, and its importance to the biosciences, the economy, and society both at home and around the world.

The report describes the potential of plant science to improve fundamental knowledge, enable the improvement of diet quality, increase crop productivity, enhance environmental sustainability and create new products and manufacturing processes.

Professor Rick Mumford FRSB, head of science, evidence and research at the Food Standards Agency, and outgoing chair of the UKPSF Committee, said: “The report’s conclusions emphasise opportunities to strengthen UK plant science by increasing interactions across disciplines and research settings.

“The conclusions also draw attention to the importance of international collaboration, call for a balanced debate and public engagement around new methods in agricultural production, and underscore the need for inspiring plant science content in bioscience education – to enthuse the next generation.”

Opening the meeting, Stephen Metcalfe MP, welcomed an audience of over 60 guests to the Churchill Room in the Palace of Westminster, and spoke about the global importance of plant science in the UK, as well as his role on the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

Professor Mumford FRSB delivered an overview of the report after which Professor Dale Sanders FRSB, director of the John Innes Centre addressed the guests and emphasised the crucial importance of fundamental, blue-skies research in plant science to provide a rich source of discoveries and innovation.

Dr Belinda Clarke CBiol FRSB, director of Agri-Tech East, completed the speeches by focusing on the exciting potential for technologies from other sectors to augment our current world-leading understanding of plant sciences.

You can read the report online, and find out more about the work done by UKPSF.

Original source: Royal Society of Biology

Read the report: Growing the future


Local plant-microbe alliances shape global biomes

Dense rainforests, maple-blanketed mountains and sweeping coniferous forests demonstrate the growth and proliferation of trees adapted to specific conditions. The regional dominance of tree species we see on the surface now, however, might actually have been determined underground long ago.

Pre-Crop Values from Satellite Images to Support Diversification of Agriculture

Pre-crop values for a high number of previous and following crop combinations originating from farmers’ fields are, for the first time, available to support diversification of currently monotonous crop sequencing patterns in agriculture. The groundbreaking method utilizing satellite images was developed by Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) in collaboration with Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI).

Editing of RNA may play a role in chloroplast-to-nucleus communication

What will a three-degree-warmer world look like? How will plants fare in more extreme weather conditions? When experiencing stress or damage from various sources, plants use chloroplast-to-nucleus communication to regulate gene expression and help them cope.