Special Issue "Plant Breeding for Sustainable Agriculture"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2011)
Dr. Kevin Murphy
The science of plant breeding has played a profound role in defining and improving agricultural systems productivity worldwide. The earliest plant breeders
- farmers - domesticated countless wild species and improved these crops through recurrent selection. In the 1960's and 70's, the 'Green Revolution' increased global grain yields of cereal crops to unprecedented levels, primarily through the innovations contributed through the complementary synergistic interactions of plant breeding and agronomy. Though increases in productivity remain paramount, the challenges we face today as an agricultural community reach far beyond improvements in yield. These challenges include developing varieties with the capacity to achieve high yields in reduced chemical-input systems and with the genetic diversity needed to maintain yield stability in fluctuating climatic conditions. Relatively novel traits that should be targeted to benefit a truly sustainable agriculture include improving weed suppression ability, enhancement of nutritional value, and optimization of plant interactions with microbial communities in the soil, among others. Farmer participatory breeding strategies in de-centralized and diverse selection environments also have the potential to encourage more renewable and resilient agricultural systems. This special issue will focus on the contribution of plant breeding to a more sustainable global agriculture through the collaborative lens of a diverse group of economists, sociologists and plant breeders worldwide.
Dr. Kevin Murphy
- renewable agriculture
- plant breeding
- participatory breeding
- nutritional value
- climate change
- genetic diversity
- yield stability
- organic agriculture