alexa Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture

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Building a bridge from basic botany to applied agriculture

The solutions to feeding the world are certainly multi-faceted, requiring knowledge from a diversity of fields and practices to successfully raise food production and maintain ecosystem security. Thus, three prominent scientists are highlighting the importance of basic plant science and its relevance for pressing global issues like applied agriculture. A special issue of the American Journal of Botany -- co-edited by Allison Miller, Associate Professor of Biology at Saint Louis University; Elizabeth Kellogg, Member and Principal Investigator at the Danforth Plant Science Center and former president of the Botanical Society of America; and Briana Gross, Assistant Professor of Biology at the University of Minnesota Duluth -- emphasizes how a broad range of basic plant science is relevant to global food demands. Traditionally, basic plant research is motivated by curiosity to understand fundamental biological phenomena, while applied research is mainly motivated by practical applications. With that said basic research discoveries often extend beyond their original intention. "The more we know about how plants work, how they evolve, the genes underlying adaptive variation, and many other topics," says Miller, "the better our capacity to develop sustainable agriculture, and to understand the impacts of agriculture on natural plant diversity."

 
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