Amanda de Souza cradles a plastic petri dish in her hands. Tiny plants press against the lid; their roots form a delicate web. It’s hard to imagine that hope for millions of people may lie inside something so small, so seemingly fragile.
Situated next to the University of Illinois’s Plant Core Facility on Dorner Drive, a once state-of-the-art controlled environment greenhouse and laboratory sat unused until now.
Using high-performance computing and genetic engineering to boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a planet expected to have 9.5 billion people on it by 2050, researchers report in the journal Cell.
Australian scientists have found a way to improve production of an enzyme essential to plant growth. The discovery advances efforts to improve global food security that aim to increase the yields of some of our most important staple crops, such as wheat, cotton and rice.