The increasing growth of human population and the intrinsic increase in world pollution, together with the uncertain challenge of climate change will undeniably require an internationally sustained effort to meet the global food demand. An increase of food production by at least 50% has been projected to be necessary by 2050. Thus, Food Security is one of the most important challenges for the future. Classical plant breeding has been crucial to improve our crop species from the beginning of human civilizations until now. Classical plant breeding harnesses the natural genetic variation that is generated by meiotic recombination. During meiosis, new allele combinations are obtained which could confer new improved phenotypes. Nevertheless, plant breeders are reaching the limits of this methodology. These boundaries are intrinsically shaped by the restrictions on the frequency and distribution of meiotic recombination in the different crop species. In cereals, it has been estimated that 30-50% of genes rarely (if at all) recombine, limiting the genetic variation available to use by plant breeders. The MEICOM consortium has been designed to prepare future scientists, academics, plant breeders and policy makers in how to manipulate and control meiotic recombination in different crops (brassicas, wheats, barley, tomato, maize) and to provide a sustainable assurance on Food Security for the future. MEICOM is a network of the finest European Plant Meiosis Researchers with internationally acclaimed industrial partners to gain knowledge and transfer it into our training programme and the general public.
Fields of science
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Funding SchemeMSCA-ITN-ETN - European Training Networks
Kingston Upon Thames