Understanding plants to improve agriculture

With the world populaton expected to grow 25% by 2050 there is an increasing need to improve agricultural sustainability and food nutrition.

A recently released study looks at plant biology in order to combat the fact that agriculture is approaching Earth’s 15% sustainability limit for crop production. Specialised plant membrane transporters - which are proteins that take up nutrients from soil, transport sugar and resist toxic substances - can be enhanced to affect certain aspects. This has already been applied practically to improving yields on salt-affected soil by up to 25%.

By understanding the biology of plant membrane transporters, non-gentically modified yet novel solutions can be made. The aim is to increase the sustainable use of limited soil nutrients and enhance human nutrition through biofortification.

Read more at University of Western Australia