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Plant Genomics and Biotechnology for sustainable and competitive agriculture



Plant genomics has become a rapidly developing field which is radically improving our understanding of plant biology while making available fantastic tools for the improvement of plant properties relevant to sustainable agricultural production, human and animal nutrition, as well as to non-food uses of plant products. The sequencing of the genome of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana (2000), which was carried out by an international consortium with the support of the European Commission, was a milestone in plant genomics research.
Funding for plant genomics research and biotechnology has seen major increases worldwide over several years, and the European Commission’s Framework Programmes are no exception. For example, within the Thematic Priority 5 “Food Quality and Safety” of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), the European Commission is supporting a major project on the improvement of grain legumes for food and feed, which involves participation in an international project sequencing the genome of the model legume Medicago truncatula. In addition, FP6 is supporting new initiatives on plant genomics. For example, EU plant genomics research will be coordinated and integrated progressively by a new ERA-NET initiative for national research programmes; and a long-term vision and means for its implementation will be developed by a Technology Platform on plant genomics and biotechnology planned for June 2004.
In response to this rapidly moving field, the Directorate-General for Research organised a meeting recently to review the state of play of ten research projects in plant genomics and biotechnology funded under the Fifth Framework Programme, to present the opportunities offered by FP6 and to encourage a discussion on the present status and future of plant genomics and biotechnology in Europe.

Additional information

Authors: No author stated, European Commission, DG Research, Brussels (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2004. 28 pp, free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: KI-61-04-791-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN: 92-894-6374-0
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