Growing Synthetic Biology in PlantsView all sessions
In the face of growing food insecurity, sustainable intensification of agriculture through biotechnology is an attractive prospect. To date, seed improvement has for the most part relied on traditional breeding, and biotechnology-based approaches have tended to focus on single-gene input traits. The application of synthetic biology provides us with opportunities to move beyond this, using new DNA assembly technologies and a more engineering-based approach. Target traits include: disease and pest resistance; water and nutrient use efficiency; drought, flood, salt and heat tolerance; more efficient and nutritious plants; and better chemical synthesis. New policy processes and types of entrepreneurship are also needed, so that the needs and values of farmers and other key stakeholders can be better incorporated into the innovation process.
- Chueh Loo Poh, Nanyang Technological University