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Speaking of food: Connecting basic and applied plant science

Gross, Briana L., Kellogg, Elizabeth A., Miller, Allison J.
American journal of botany 2014 v.101 no.10 pp. 1597-1600
Food and Agriculture Organization, artificial selection, climate, crops, evolution, food production, people, weeds, wild relatives
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that food production must rise 70% over the next 40 years to meet the demands of a growing population that is expected to reach nine billion by the year 2050. Many facets of basic plant science promoted by the Botanical Society of America are important for agriculture; however, more explicit connections are needed to bridge the gap between basic and applied plant research. This special issue, Speaking of Food: Connecting Basic and Applied Plant Science, was conceived to showcase productive overlaps of basic and applied research to address the challenges posed by feeding billions of people and to stimulate more research, fresh connections, and new paradigms. Contributions to this special issue thus illustrate some interactive areas of study in plant science—historical and modern plant–human interaction, crop and weed origins and evolution, and the effects of natural and artificial selection on crops and their wild relatives. These papers provide examples of how research integrating the basic and applied aspects of plant science benefits the pursuit of knowledge and the translation of that knowledge into actions toward sustainable production of crops and conservation of diversity in a changing climate.