The Global Plant Council established the Stress Resilience initiative as part of our priority focus on Adaptation to Climate Change. Led by Professor Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston (former GPC Board Member) and Professor Jim Beynon (University of Warwick, UK), with essential input from Professor Bill Davies (former GPC President) and Dr Andrew Borrell(University of Queensland, Australia), the GPC Stress Resilience initiative aims to connect current and previous programs focused on crop adaptation and resilience around the world.

In collaboration with the Society for Experimental Biology, the GPC held a Stress Resilience Symposium and Discussion Forum in Iguaçu Falls, Brazil, in October 2015. This event brought together experts from across the world to discuss current research efforts in stress resilience, showcase new approaches and technologies, and build new networks and collaborations.

The goal of the forum was to develop a consensus view on the strategies needed to develop crops and cropping systems that are better able to deal with fluctuating and stressful environmental conditions.

Extensive lively discussion and breakout session identified 5 key targets for the initiative to address:

  • Linking islands of knowledge and expertise; synergy across disciplines;
  • Generating and managing knowledge for creative solutions in collaborations, including standards, protocols and ontologies for data reuse and integration;
  • Harnessing diversity from ecosystems to crops to genes;
  • Technology transfer – strategic thinking to solve local problems;
  • Evidence-based policy to support resilient cropping systems.

Discussions held at this meeting form the basis of four commentary articles, and an overview editorial, published in the open access journal Food and Energy Security in February 2017.


Martin L, Jose S, Bastow R. The Global Plant CouncilFood and Energy Security 2017;6(1):3–4.

Gilliham M, Chapman S, Martin L, et al. The case for evidence-based policy to support stress-resilient cropping systemsFood and Energy Security2017;6(1):5–11.

Davies WJ and Ribaut JM. Stress resilience in crop plants: strategic thinking to address local food production problemsFood and Energy Security2017;6(1):12–18.

Buchanan-Wollaston V, Wilson Z, Tardieu F, et al. Harnessing diversity from ecosystems to crops to genesFood and Energy Security 2017;6(1):19–25.

Borrell A and Reynolds M. Integrating islands of knowledge for greater synergy and efficiency in crop researchFood and Energy Security2017;6(1):26–32.