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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: GENOMIC APPROACHES TO IMPROVING TRANSPORT AND DETOXIFICATION OF SELECTED MINERAL ELEMENTS IN CROP PLANTS Title: Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production

Authors
item Schroeder, Julian -
item Delhaize, Emmanuel -
item Frommer, Wolf -
item Guerinot, Mary Lou -
item Harrison, Maria -
item Herrera-Estrella, Luis -
item Horie, Tomoaki -
item Kochian, Leon
item Munns, Rana -
item Nishizawa, Naoko -
item Tsay, Yi-Fang -
item Sanders, Dale -

Submitted to: Nature
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: February 5, 2013
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Citation: Schroeder, J.I., Delhaize, E., Frommer, W.B., Guerinot, M., Harrison, M.J., Herrera-Estrella, L., Horie, T., Kochian, L.V., Munns, R., Nishizawa, N.K., Tsay, Y., Sanders, D. 2013. Using membrane transporters to improve crops for sustainable food production. Nature. 497:60-66.

Technical Abstract: With the global population predicted to grow by at least 25% by 2050, the need for sustainable production of nutritious foods is critical for human and environmental well-being. Recent advances show that specialized plant membrane transporters can be utilized to enhance yields of staple crops, increase nutrient content, and increase resistance to key stresses including salinity, pathogens, and aluminum toxicity, which in turn could expand available arable land. In this article we report on findings demonstrating that understanding the biology of plant membrane transporters can be a key contributor to the goal of global food security. We discuss examples where fundamental research is already being translated into practical applications such as enhancing the micronutrient content of grain and improving plant tolerance of saline and acidic soils. We further discuss potential applications linked to breakthroughs in basic research that are yet to be applied to crop plants. This perspective reviews the extent to which the rapid advances in plant transport research address global aspects of food security and how we can potentially reduce the time between trait identification in the laboratory and exploitation in the field.

Last Modified: 12/17/2014