«The plants of the future», new Mètode monograph

The monograph, coordinated by José Pío Beltrán, analyses biotechnological advances in plant production.

Mètode 104

«The success of the Homo sapiens is based on its ability to provide food for itself», states José Pío Beltrán in the introduction to the latest Mètode monograph, The plants of the future. Genomic editing in biotechnology. The CSIC research professor at the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (CSIC-UPV) in Valencia is coordinating issue 104, which looks at what the plants of the future should look like in order to deal with the increase in human population and ensure the sustainability of our planet. The monograph, illustrated by Valencian artist José Saborit, focuses on the biotechnological strategies to obtain these plants.

The monograph starts with a paper by Concha Gómez Mena, CSIC scientist at the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology in Valencia, who presents the great potential of new strategie, such as CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, in improving the crops of the future. Diego Orzáez, Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology researcher, follows with the challenges for the development of the agriculture of the future under the premises of the technological democratisation and the importance of the social perception of these technologies. Juan Carlos del Pozo, Research Professor at the National Institute for Agricultural Research and Experimentation, delves into biotechnological fertilisation to develop productive and sustainable agriculture. Meanwhile, Selena Giménez-Ibánez, researcher at the Department of Plant Molecular Genetics of the National Centre for Biotechnology, focuses on new biotechnological approaches to design crops that are more resistant to disease. Finally, Francisco Javier Medina, head of Plant Cell Nucleolus, Proliferation & Microgravity at the Margarita Salas Biological Research Centre (CIB-CSIC), presents the advances in plant reproduction in space. The Valencian writer Carlos Marzal closes the monograph with a reflection on the botanical watercolours that illustrate the issue, created by José Saborit.

Science and nature come together once again in this new Mètode monograph, which also includes texts on the integration of trees into human contexts, microplastic pollution in the marine environment, big data, and an interview with José Antonio Sobrino, winner of the Jaime I Prize for Environmental Protection. In addition, we have a new section, «Science stills», by J. M. Mulet, professor of Biotechnology at the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

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