Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

The case for evidence‐based policy to support stress‐resilient cropping systems

The case for evidence‐based policy to support stress‐resilient cropping systems Crop productivity targets, food security, Research and the dissemination of evidence- based guidelines for best practice in collaboration, research strategy. crop production are fundamental for the protection of our crop yields against Correspondence biotic and abiotic threats, and for meeting ambitious food production targets by Matthew Gilliham, Plant Transport and 2050. The advances in knowledge required for sustaining crop productivity targets Signalling Lab, ARC Centre of Excellence in will be gained through three research tracks: (1) basic strategic research in the Plant Energy Biology, School of Agriculture, field, for example, crop breeding, agronomy, and advanced phenotyping; (2) Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, translational research involving the application of advances in fundamental sci- University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, SA ence; and (3) pure fundamental research to fuel future translational research. We 5064, Australia. Tel: +61 8 8313 8145; E-mail: matthew.gilliham@adelaide.edu.au propose that policy and funding structures need to be improved to facilitate and encourage more interactions between scientists involved in all three research tracks, Funding Information and also between researchers and farmers, to improve the effectiveness of deliver- M.G. funding – Grains Research and ing improvements in crop stress resilience. History illustrates that it is challenging Development Corporation (UA00145), The for public researchers to “stretch across” all of these research tracks, with effective International Wheat Yield Partnership farm- level solutions being more likely when end-users and industry are directly (IWYP60FP/ANU00027), and the Australian engaged in the research pipeline. As research proceeds from fundamental through Research Council (FT130100709 and CE140100008). to applied research, the demand for experimental rigor and a wider understanding of appropriate methods and outcomes is paramount, that is, demonstrating value Received: 24 February 2017; in yield at the field level requires the input of experienced practitioners from Accepted: 28 February 2017 each research track. The development of evidence- based policies to support all funding structures and the engagement of producers with both the development Food and Energy Security 2017 6(1): 5–11 of research, and with the findings of such research, will form an important ca - pability in meeting food security targets. This commentary, concentrating on the doi: 10.1002/fes3.104 development of policies to support research and its dissemination, is based on discussions held at the Stress Resilience Symposium organized by the Global Plant Council and Society of Experimental Biology in October 2015. between science and policy is therefore important, and Introduction it is essential that research funding and policy develop- Research into the development of stress- resilient plants ment should be intrinsically linked. However, this is not and cropping systems has the potential to generate sig- always the case and more needs to be done to develop nificant positive, worldwide impacts for dealing with climate effective, global, evidence- based policies for plant change and ensuring global food security. Research alone science. cannot bring about fundamental change; rather research So how do these two, often disparate, areas of science findings can be used to build evidence for reaching con - and policy interact and influence each other? In terms sensus, which in turn helps to exact a change in behavior of the effects of science on policy, the results of well- or practice through policy development. The interface designed scientific research can provide the evidence on © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 5 This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems M. Gilliham et al. which to base consensus in the scientific community. In results from the international research community. This turn, scientific consensus provides the foundation on which in turn depends – to a large extent – on scientists sum- to build adequate and robust policies for developing and marizing and explaining their work in a manner that is researching efficient and sustainable practices that will accessible and understandable to nonspecialist audience support crop improvement and furnish food and agri- so that others including funders and policy makers can cultural products to the growing human population. understand current research efforts and what comprises Policy impacts science in many different ways; for high- quality scientific method in different tracks of research. example, it affects the level of public and private invest- ment in both research and development, and determines Learning from Past Experience the strategic priorities that direct where this investment is targeted. Institutional, governmental, and national poli- Biotic and abiotic stresses have negative impacts on crop cies also impinge on and control how research data are productivity and thus are major limiting factors to global collected, accessed, exchanged, and stored in both the food and nutritional security, and to the production of public and private sectors. Policies and regulations related agricultural products. Global wheat production, for exam- to the safe use and application of technologies also have ple, is projected to decrease by 6% for each degree cen- significant impacts on the agricultural sector; for example, tigrade of global warming, together with an increased technologies that support decision-making (e.g., satellites variability in yield across regions and seasons (Asseng and drones), and/or the implementation of solutions (e.g., et al. 2015). Yield losses are also predicted for other major genetically modified organisms [GMOs], chemicals, crops (e.g., Challinor et al. 2014). robots). One of the predictions for a changing climate is an The potential for a disconnect between the science and increasing incidence of extreme weather events. In some policy arenas becomes amplified at the international level, areas this will mean more prevalent drought, heat, and/ with governments and funding bodies around the world or salinity events, and research into plant tolerance to varying in the ways in which they decide upon and develop these stresses will be paramount to improve crop suitability funding strategies and regulatory and policy frameworks. for such conditions and mitigate stress effects on crop These variations exist although all nations (developed and yield. For example, Lobell et al. (2015) revealed that while developing) face common challenges (as stated in the drought will continue to impact yields of wheat and sor- Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable ghum in Northeast Australia, breeders will need to increase Development Goals (United Nations, 2015)), common the heat tolerance of these crops to mitigate the damage environments (e.g., rain- fed crops in Australia, and sub- from increasing frequencies of extreme heat stress events Saharan Africa and central- western India frequently experi- in this region. Such research topics are not new endeavors, ence drought), grow common crops of interest (e.g., maize, and the lessons learned from previous and current research wheat, rice, sorghum, barley, tubers, legumes), and are can inform us how new policies might best support the all inhabitants on a common planet (combating climate development of stress- resilient cropping systems (Gilliham change is a universal issue). et al. 2017). Despite these universal links, it is the national agencies For instance, from the outcomes of previous research and bodies that are the major funders and regulators of on drought and salinity research it is clear that tolerance research. As a result, national funders – quite reasonably – to these stresses is complex requiring multiple traits, with place restrictions on expenditure in other jurisdictions tolerance to each stress composed of multiple traits (e.g., and wish to be in control of their own regulatory frame- for salinity; exclusion of salt from the shoot, stomatal works. This can result in fractured – and in some cases closure, detoxification of reactive oxygen species, the adap- conflicting – policies across the globe that subsequently tation to low water potential in the soil); some of these act as a barrier to collaboration, and limit the ability to traits are required for tolerance to both stresses (Chaves collate and share data, resources, and intellectual property et al. 2009; Huang et al. 2009; Munns and Gilliham 2015). across national boundaries. The end point of this is the In extreme circumstances, crops can face multiple threats loss of added value that can be gained from linking par- at the same time, for example, low water availability, high allel efforts or by concentrating research in priority areas salinity, high temperatures and biological pests; therefore, of global significance. crops must be well adapted to multiple threats. Given the significant impact of policy on research, from Tolerance to abiotic stress requires both consideration a global perspective, it is vital that policy decisions take of the crop’s genetics (and its capacity to respond to the account of global scientific consensus, and that policy environment), and the best crop management to mitigate decisions impacting and influencing the plant and agri- the impact of a stress. A holistic approach is needed cultural arena be fully informed by scientific method and whereby multiple research angles are deployed and 6 © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. M. Gilliham et al. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems integrated to achieve the best results, encompassing genet- often require demonstration of impact, leading to numer- ics, breeding, physiology, predictive modeling, agronomy, ous articles in plant journals containing statements such and extension to growers (Hammer et al. 2016). In com- as “trait X has shown substantial yield improvement in bination, these approaches have led to research impact glasshouse conditions”. Critically, however, few of these through translation in both the private and public sector, effects will demonstrably translate to increases in yield but have required a substantial cross- scale effort for delivery under field conditions, despite the rigorous and repeatable (Gilliham et al. 2017). demonstration of trait effects in controlled conditions. A One such challenge is the agronomic management of good example of the large- sale yield monitoring technolo- water throughout the season. While it is sometimes viewed gies needed to demonstrate yield improvements in the as an extension rather than a research challenge, new field comes from DuPont researchers who showed a 6.9% technologies have the potential to transform water man- yield advantage of highly water use- efficient corn hybrids agement in agriculture (e.g., smart weather sensing and across 2000 locations (Gaffney et al. 2015). We do not modeling for irrigation scheduling, or biodegradable plastic propose that such extensive approaches are required to mulches; Clawson and Blad 1981; Lebourgeois et al. 2009; demonstrate the value of potential new traits in the early Li et al. 2013). In dry environments, the adoption of part of discovery; rather that statements about “yield” no- tillage systems has been a major factor in increasing require a rigorous evidence base, careful consideration of soil organic matter by protecting it from erosion, and in alternative hypotheses for the observed results, and a clear conserving soil water through the season across much of appreciation of the likelihood of the trait having an impact the world’s agricultural lands (Derpsch et al. 2010). These in the field, before inclusion in publications. For example, systems typically require mechanized management aug- a yield increase of 50% is highly unlikely at a field level mented by the careful use of biodegradable herbicides so except in very specific circumstances. When such observa- that weeds do not develop resistance to chemical control. tions are included in publications, reviews, and funding In addition to policies encouraging the use of these tech- policies without an appropriate field- based context, this niques, the development of herbicide-tolerant varieties can result in significant distortions in policy and invest- (usually, but not necessarily, GMO) has facilitated the ment strategies and outcomes. rapid adoption of no- till, especially in South America. It is important that fundamental research interrogating Herbicide-tolerant GMO varieties have therefore had a how crops survive stress is carried out so as to inform significant impact on yield in dryland environments by the development of new varieties. The development of encouraging the adoption of no- till and its water- conserving water use- efficient wheat such as Drysdale, which has 10% benefits. higher yields in dry conditions, as well as the breeding There has been considerable investment in molecular of durum wheat with a 25% greater grain yield in saline and laboratory- based solutions to stress tolerance. These conditions, were both the products of fundamental research investments include the use of sequencing technologies, discoveries applied to breeding programs (Rebetzke et al. the deployment of molecular markers, “speed breeding”, 2002; Munns et al. 2012). These are good examples of and – to a limited extent – genetic modification. GMOs why investment in both fundamental and applied solu- (for herbicide and insect tolerance) have made substantial tions to stress tolerance is needed. Furthermore, investment contributions to increased food production (Qaim 2009; in translational research is essential to establish the robust- Klümper and Qaim 2014), but genetically complex traits ness of fundamental research solutions prior to their such as drought and salinity tolerance (much like the implementation in farming systems (Gilliham et al. 2017). introduction of C4 photosynthesis into rice or nitrogen It should also be noted that these are long-term invest - fixation into other cereals) require multigene solutions ments; it took 20 years for Drysdale to be released fol- with significant lead times. These latter initiatives have lowing elucidation of the trait underlying its increased received significant investment from NGOs; however, water use efficiency. similar investment has not occurred for paradigm- shifting To most effectively deploy research aimed at improving research in the stress resilience of cropping systems. the stress resilience of cropping systems, an integrated Assessment of impact and the evaluation of success science, policy, and society approach is needed to ensure and value can change and diverge substantially in the that disparate skillsets and expertise come together. transition from fundamental through to applied research Although it is not exclusively the case, scientists who and to the field. This generates several challenges, par- perform most of their stress tolerance research in the ticularly for research teams trying to span all levels of laboratory, and those based primarily in the field, operate complexity to demonstrate and deliver new traits for stress in different arenas and rarely interact or combine efforts. resilience. For example, current funding and publication The involvement of primary producers in research strategy policies at the fundamental end of the research pipeline or projects can also be lacking. Future research cannot © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 7 Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems M. Gilliham et al. afford to ignore the potential synergies gained by involv- field, to the ecosystem level, to develop crops and crop- ing all three stakeholders. Examples of projects that have ping systems that will meet future needs. Such a holistic benefited from broad involvement include those listed approach will require the intelligent use of “big data,” above, that is, the development of water use-efficient wheat and the development of new technologies to support or salt-tolerant durum wheat, but more are needed. research studies and the application of research findings Unfortunately, funding is a currently one barrier to pro- in the field. gress in this area. Few funding structures can take on Agriculture, like many other areas, is undergoing a data promising advances made in fundamental science, validate revolution; examples range from real- time monitoring of them, and assess whether they can be translated into the livestock health and condition; automated glasshouse con- yield gains in the field (Gilliham et al., 2017). A recent trol of vegetable quality; and the application of satellites, report by the Australian Academy of Science identified a unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), machine yield moni- specific fund for translational science as a key priority tors, and farmer information crowdsourcing platforms. for the future (Australian Academy of Sciences, 2017). These new technologies and associated data generate a Funding is not the only issue. Stress-tolerance traits wealth of opportunities for new discoveries and innovative related to survival identified in laboratory- based studies solutions, but at the same time create numerous chal- are often not relevant for maintaining yield in the field lenges for policy development. (e.g., Chapman et al. 2002; Hammer et al. 2016); there- There is growing pressure from governments and funders fore, policies must be created to fund structures that work across the globe to make public data more open and acces- toward applying, translating, and researching yield improve- sible. However, what open data mean in practice, and how ment in the field over the mid- to- long-term (Gilliham it will contribute toward increasing food security, improving et al., 2016). This is another reason why encouraging human health and nutrition, and ensuring the more sus- entities that have not commonly worked together (e.g., tainable management of natural resources, is still being laboratory- based fundamental scientists and field- based assessed and the associated policies are in development. researchers) to join forces is important to ensure that For example, how do you balance “data ownership” – which traits relevant to stress resilience in the field are examined may encourage business development and competition – and rigorous translational studies are conducted. The with the concept of “open data?” private sector designs research flows to ensure that links Initiatives such as Global Open Data for Agriculture between research tracks function to deliver improved and Nutrition (GODAN) are grappling with this and many germplasm, but these are more challenging to develop other issues associated with the open data concept. GODAN within the public sector research system. Policy that encour- supports the proactive sharing of open data to deal with ages public–private partnerships is increasingly utilized in the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security. By sponsoring agronomy research, but less so in plant bringing national governments together with nongovern- breeding. mental, international, and private sector organizations, A more detailed assessment of traits relevant to stress GODAN seeks to support global efforts to make agricul- tolerance in the field can be found elsewhere and are tural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, often informed by predictive modeling of agricultural and usable for unrestricted use worldwide. The initiative systems (e.g., Cooper et al. 2014; Hammer et al. 2016). focuses on building high-level policy and public and pri- Borrell & Reynolds (2017) discuss the need to join and vate institutional support for open data. The existence maximize islands of isolated knowledge to maximize poten- and popularity of GODAN (450 partners) illustrates how tial outcomes. This applies to both isolated concurrent far- reaching the issue of open data is, and that if progress research being conducted on similar topics through form- is to be made, solutions and policies must be developed ing effective collaborations. A balance needs to be struck and adopted at a global scale. to avoid “tipping the scales” and creating situations in For policies to truly have maximum impact, the con- which new initiatives are funded at the expense of pure versation must move beyond the science and governance fundamental research that feeds the innovations of tomor- arena. Widening the conversation to the broader global row, or purely field- based studies that inform practice community is therefore vital, but does require initiatives and lead to important gains. to train, equip, and encourage scientists and science com- municators to engage members of the public with research of broader media interest. Although many scientists are The Bigger Picture well trained to perform their laboratory or field- based For multifactorial traits such as drought and salinity tol- research, they often lack the skills required to communicate erance, research investment and policy decisions must take their research and its implications to a general audience a “big picture” approach ranging from the gene, to the in an easily accessible and approachable manner. Several 8 © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. M. Gilliham et al. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems organizations and programs across the globe provide train- c. On current regulatory frameworks of relevance to ing in communication and outreach; for example, Sense stress resilience research. About Science, a UK- based charity with new EU and US- • Assess current community needs by: based counterparts, has established the Plant Science Panel, d. Undertaking electronic survey(s) of the GPC’s mem- a group of expert plant scientists that answers questions bership, and the wider community, to understand the (online) posed by members of the public to help promote major bottlenecks to developing stress-resilient crops understanding and address misconceptions on any plant and cropping systems with respect to policy and regu- science- related topic. The same charity has also set up the latory frameworks. Voices of Young Science network, and an associated series of successful “Standing up for Science” workshops across the UK, that helps to better equip early career scientists Medium term to talk about their research, and provides advice on how • Help build a consensus by: to get involved in discussions in the public arena. Projects like this are essential to help provide researchers with the a. Developing position statements based on the findings skills, confidence, and opportunities to contribute to sci- of the landscape study and survey of needs. ence and policy-based discussions. b. Working with other key organizations to develop Forming evidence- based policies that will have the great- international consensuses, taking key political issues est impact will require a full consideration of all viewpoints into account, which outline current bottlenecks and and surrounding issues. Policies cannot be developed, potential solutions to improving the policy environ- much less implemented, unless there is consensus, and ment of relevance to developing stress-resilient crops consensus cannot be reached without being fully informed and cropping systems. of the research, funding, and policy landscape. Developing an informed “community” requires effective communica- Long term tion between all stakeholders. Such a dialog should take place in an international context and involve not just • Advocate for the inclusion and implementation of sci- those embedded in the research, policy, and regulatory entific consensus in international policy and regulatory arenas but also the wider public. frameworks. • Advise international bodies, funders, and other forums to inform funding, regulatory, and policy decisions. Actions Trying to help bridge the gap between science and policy Developing an informed community – is logistically, culturally, and politically challenging but, as promoting a global conversation has been demonstrated with “big issues” such as climate change and the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Short term Climate Change, it is possible. The question is: can the • Exchange research and policy knowledge by: plant/agricultural community develop a similar global effort? As a global organization with members across six con- a. Using the GPC’s social media channels to help those tinents, the Global Plant Council (GPC) (http://globalplant- working on similar topics in the areas of stress-resilient council.org/) is well placed to help facilitate better integration crops and cropping systems to become more aware between the research, funding, regulatory, and policy of each other’s efforts and activities. domains, as outlined by the mechanisms proposed below. b. Raising awareness of current open access and data- sharing policies, as well as examples of appropriate and inappropriate experimental methods in different Building consensus view research tracks. Short term c. Generating an online database of the information gathered in the landscape study. • Develop an understanding of the current landscape by: a. Gathering evidence on the current scientific consensus Short- to- medium term regarding what is required at the international level to develop stress-resilient crops and cropping systems; for • Develop viewpoint articles from a range of stakeholders example, reports, papers, and position statements. on the current challenges and solutions in building b. Collating information on current projects across the adequate and robust frameworks at the science/policy globe and, interface. © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 9 Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems M. Gilliham et al. • Publicize these articles via social and traditional media, References with accompanying, engaging materials (e.g., videos, Asseng, S., F. Ewert, P. Martre, et al. 2015. Rising leaflets, case studies) to raise awareness of global issues temperatures reduce global wheat production. Nat. Clim. in local contexts, and start a conversation with the public, Chang. 5:143–147. stakeholders, and politicians. Australian Academy of Sciences. 2017. Decadal plan for agriculture. Available at https://www.science.org.au/ Medium- to- long term support/analysis/decadal-plans-science/decadal-plan- agriculture (accessed 10 February 2017). • Collate articles and viewpoints into an annual online Borrell, A., and M. Reynolds. 2017. Integrating islands of publication. knowledge for greater synergy and efficiency in crop research. Food and Energy Secur. 6:26–36. Challinor, A. J., J. Watson, D. B. Lobell, S. M. Howden, D. Training a new generation of plant science R. Smith, and N. Chhetri. 2014. A meta- analysis of crop communicators to “stand up” for evidence- yield under climate change and adaptation. Nat. Clim. based policies Chang. 4:287–291. Short term Chapman, S. C., G. L. Hammer, D. W. Podlich, and M. Cooper. 2002. Linking bio-physical and genetic models to • Collate information about existing science communica- integrate physiology, molecular biology and plant tion and science policy courses and advertise them to breeding. Pp. 167–187 in M. Kang, ed. “Quantitative a wider audience. genetics, genomics, and plant breeding” (Invited paper at • Provide discussion points about what constitutes rigor in Symposium on Quantitative Genetics for the 21st demonstrating physiological (to scientists and funders) Century, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March 2001). CAB and field-level (to farmers) value of stress resilience research International, Wallingford, UK. Chaves, M. M., J. Flexas, and C. Pinheiro. 2009. Longer term Photosynthesis under drought and salt stress: regulation mechanisms from whole plant to cell. Ann. Bot. • Work with others to assess which approaches and courses 103:551–560. are productive/successful, and for which audiences (school, Clawson, K. L., and B. L. Blad. 1981. Infrared thermometry community group, government, international). Based on for scheduling irrigation of corn. Agron. J. 74:311–316. this, the GPC could help to develop future online courses Cooper, M., C. Gho, R. Leafgren, T. Tang, and C. Messina. (e.g., massive open online courses) to enthuse and inspire 2014. Breeding drought- tolerant maize hybrids for the US a new generation of communicators. corn- belt: discovery to product. J. Exp. Bot. 65:6191–6204. Derpsch, R., T. Friedrich, A. Kassam, and L. Hongwen. Establishing consensus is the first step toward realizing effec- 2010. Current status of adoption of no- till farming in tive, global, evidence- based policies for plant science and allied the world and some of its main benefits. Int. J. Agric. research and development. If multiple, diverse stakeholders Biol. Eng. 3:1–25. from around the world can be brought together under the Gaffney, J., J. Schussler, C. Löffler, W. Cai, S. Paszkiewicz, banner of a single, global organization, such as the Global C. Messina, et al. 2015. Industry scale evaluation of Plant Council, then our combined voices will be much louder. maize hybrids selected for increased yield in drought stress conditions of the U.S. Corn Belt. Crop Sci. 55:1608–1618. Acknowledgments Gilliham, M., J. A. Able, and S. J. Roy. 2017. Translating This paper is based on outcomes from a Stress Resilience knowledge about abiotic stress tolerance to breeding Symposium held in Brazil in October 2015 organized by programmes. Plant J. Online 8th February 2017. the Global Plant Council and Society for Experimental Biology. doi:10.1111/tpj.13456. The authors would like to thank the Society for Experimental Hammer, G. L., G. McLean, A. Doherty, van Oosterom E., Biology for funding support for this symposium. and S. C. Chapman. 2016. Sorghum crop modeling and its utility in agronomy and breeding. In I. Ciampitti, V. Prasad, eds. Sorghum: state of the art and future Conflict of Interest perspectives, agronomy monograph 58. ASA and CSSA, The authors of this article are either affiliated to the Global Madison, WI. doi:10.2134/agronmonogr58.2014.0064 Plant Council through membership of their Society or Huang, X. Y., D. Y. Chao, J. P. Gao, M. Z. Zhu, M. Shi, are employed by the Global Plant Council. and H. X. Lin. 2009. A previously unknown zinc finger 10 © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. M. Gilliham et al. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems protein, DST, regulates drought and salt tolerance in influence of drought and heat stress for crops in rice via stomatal aperture control. Genes Dev. northeast Australia. Glob. Change Biol. 21:4115–4127. 23:1805–1817. Munns, R., and M. Gilliham. 2015. Salinity tolerance of Klümper, W., and M. Qaim. 2014. A meta- analysis of the crops – what is the cost? New Phytol. 208:668–673. impacts of genetically modified crops. PLoS ONE Munns, R., R. A. James, B. Xu, et al. 2012. Wheat grain 9:e111629. yield on saline soils is improved by an ancestral Na Lebourgeois, V., J.-L. Chopart, A. Bégue, and L. Le Mézo. transporter gene. Nat. Biotechnol. 30:360–364. 2009. Towards using a thermal infrared index combined Qaim, M. 2009. The economics of genetically modified with water balance modelling to monitor sugarcane crops. Annu. Rev. Resour. Economics 1:665–694. irrigation in a tropical environment. Agric. Water Manag. Rebetzke, G. J., A. G. Condon, R. A. Richards, and G. D. 97:75–82. Farquhar. 2002. Selection for reduced carbon isotope Li, S. X., Z. H. Wang, S. Q. Li, Y. J. Gao, and X. H. Tian. discrimination increases aerial biomass and grain yield 2013. Effect of plastic sheet mulch, wheat straw mulch, of rainfed bread wheat. Crop Sci. 42:739–745. and maize growth on water loss by evaporation in United Nations. 2015. Sustainable development goals dryland areas of China. Agric. Water Manag. 116:39–49. [online]. Available at http://www.un.org/ Lobell, D. B., G. L. Hammer, K. Chenu, B. Zheng, G. sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ McLean, and S. C. Chapman. 2015. The shifting (accessed 10 February 2017). © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 11 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Food and Energy Security Wiley

The case for evidence‐based policy to support stress‐resilient cropping systems

The case for evidence‐based policy to support stress‐resilient cropping systems

Crop productivity targets, food security, Research and the dissemination of evidence- based guidelines for best practice in collaboration, research strategy. crop production are fundamental for the protection of our crop yields against Correspondence biotic and abiotic threats, and for meeting ambitious food production targets by Matthew Gilliham, Plant Transport and 2050. The advances in knowledge required for sustaining crop productivity targets Signalling Lab, ARC Centre of Excellence in will be gained through three research tracks: (1) basic strategic research in the Plant Energy Biology, School of Agriculture, field, for example, crop breeding, agronomy, and advanced phenotyping; (2) Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, translational research involving the application of advances in fundamental sci- University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, SA ence; and (3) pure fundamental research to fuel future translational research. We 5064, Australia. Tel: +61 8 8313 8145; E-mail: matthew.gilliham@adelaide.edu.au propose that policy and funding structures need to be improved to facilitate and encourage more interactions between scientists involved in all three research tracks, Funding Information and also between researchers and farmers, to improve the effectiveness of deliver- M.G. funding – Grains Research and ing improvements in crop stress resilience. History illustrates that it is challenging Development Corporation (UA00145), The for public researchers to “stretch across” all of these research tracks, with effective International Wheat Yield Partnership farm- level solutions being more likely when end-users and industry are directly (IWYP60FP/ANU00027), and the Australian engaged in the research pipeline. As research proceeds from fundamental through Research Council (FT130100709 and CE140100008). to applied research, the demand for experimental rigor and a wider understanding of appropriate methods and outcomes is paramount, that is, demonstrating value Received: 24 February 2017; in yield at the field level requires the input of experienced practitioners from Accepted: 28 February 2017 each research track. The development of evidence- based policies to support all funding structures and the engagement of producers with both the development Food and Energy Security 2017 6(1): 5–11 of research, and with the findings of such research, will form an important ca - pability in meeting food security targets. This commentary, concentrating on the doi: 10.1002/fes3.104 development of policies to support research and its dissemination, is based on discussions held at the Stress Resilience Symposium organized by the Global Plant Council and Society of Experimental Biology in October 2015. between science and policy is therefore important, and Introduction it is essential that research funding and policy develop- Research into the development of stress- resilient plants ment should be intrinsically linked. However, this is not and cropping systems has the potential to generate sig- always the case and more needs to be done to develop nificant positive, worldwide impacts for dealing with climate effective, global, evidence- based policies for plant change and ensuring global food security. Research alone science. cannot bring about fundamental change; rather research So how do these two, often disparate, areas of science findings can be used to build evidence for reaching con - and policy interact and influence each other? In terms sensus, which in turn helps to exact a change in behavior of the effects of science on policy, the results of well- or practice through policy development. The interface designed scientific research can provide the evidence on © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 5 This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems M. Gilliham et al. which to base consensus in the scientific community. In results from the international research community. This turn, scientific consensus provides the foundation on which in turn depends – to a large extent – on scientists sum- to build adequate and robust policies for developing and marizing and explaining their work in a manner that is researching efficient and sustainable practices that will accessible and understandable to nonspecialist audience support crop improvement and furnish food and agri- so that others including funders and policy makers can cultural products to the growing human population. understand current research efforts and what comprises Policy impacts science in many different ways; for high- quality scientific method in different tracks of research. example, it affects the level of public and private invest- ment in both research and development, and determines Learning from Past Experience the strategic priorities that direct where this investment is targeted. Institutional, governmental, and national poli- Biotic and abiotic stresses have negative impacts on crop cies also impinge on and control how research data are productivity and thus are major limiting factors to global collected, accessed, exchanged, and stored in both the food and nutritional security, and to the production of public and private sectors. Policies and regulations related agricultural products. Global wheat production, for exam- to the safe use and application of technologies also have ple, is projected to decrease by 6% for each degree cen- significant impacts on the agricultural sector; for example, tigrade of global warming, together with an increased technologies that support decision-making (e.g., satellites variability in yield across regions and seasons (Asseng and drones), and/or the implementation of solutions (e.g., et al. 2015). Yield losses are also predicted for other major genetically modified organisms [GMOs], chemicals, crops (e.g., Challinor et al. 2014). robots). One of the predictions for a changing climate is an The potential for a disconnect between the science and increasing incidence of extreme weather events. In some policy arenas becomes amplified at the international level, areas this will mean more prevalent drought, heat, and/ with governments and funding bodies around the world or salinity events, and research into plant tolerance to varying in the ways in which they decide upon and develop these stresses will be paramount to improve crop suitability funding strategies and regulatory and policy frameworks. for such conditions and mitigate stress effects on crop These variations exist although all nations (developed and yield. For example, Lobell et al. (2015) revealed that while developing) face common challenges (as stated in the drought will continue to impact yields of wheat and sor- Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable ghum in Northeast Australia, breeders will need to increase Development Goals (United Nations, 2015)), common the heat tolerance of these crops to mitigate the damage environments (e.g., rain- fed crops in Australia, and sub- from increasing frequencies of extreme heat stress events Saharan Africa and central- western India frequently experi- in this region. Such research topics are not new endeavors, ence drought), grow common crops of interest (e.g., maize, and the lessons learned from previous and current research wheat, rice, sorghum, barley, tubers, legumes), and are can inform us how new policies might best support the all inhabitants on a common planet (combating climate development of stress- resilient cropping systems (Gilliham change is a universal issue). et al. 2017). Despite these universal links, it is the national agencies For instance, from the outcomes of previous research and bodies that are the major funders and regulators of on drought and salinity research it is clear that tolerance research. As a result, national funders – quite reasonably – to these stresses is complex requiring multiple traits, with place restrictions on expenditure in other jurisdictions tolerance to each stress composed of multiple traits (e.g., and wish to be in control of their own regulatory frame- for salinity; exclusion of salt from the shoot, stomatal works. This can result in fractured – and in some cases closure, detoxification of reactive oxygen species, the adap- conflicting – policies across the globe that subsequently tation to low water potential in the soil); some of these act as a barrier to collaboration, and limit the ability to traits are required for tolerance to both stresses (Chaves collate and share data, resources, and intellectual property et al. 2009; Huang et al. 2009; Munns and Gilliham 2015). across national boundaries. The end point of this is the In extreme circumstances, crops can face multiple threats loss of added value that can be gained from linking par- at the same time, for example, low water availability, high allel efforts or by concentrating research in priority areas salinity, high temperatures and biological pests; therefore, of global significance. crops must be well adapted to multiple threats. Given the significant impact of policy on research, from Tolerance to abiotic stress requires both consideration a global perspective, it is vital that policy decisions take of the crop’s genetics (and its capacity to respond to the account of global scientific consensus, and that policy environment), and the best crop management to mitigate decisions impacting and influencing the plant and agri- the impact of a stress. A holistic approach is needed cultural arena be fully informed by scientific method and whereby multiple research angles are deployed and 6 © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. M. Gilliham et al. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems integrated to achieve the best results, encompassing genet- often require demonstration of impact, leading to numer- ics, breeding, physiology, predictive modeling, agronomy, ous articles in plant journals containing statements such and extension to growers (Hammer et al. 2016). In com- as “trait X has shown substantial yield improvement in bination, these approaches have led to research impact glasshouse conditions”. Critically, however, few of these through translation in both the private and public sector, effects will demonstrably translate to increases in yield but have required a substantial cross- scale effort for delivery under field conditions, despite the rigorous and repeatable (Gilliham et al. 2017). demonstration of trait effects in controlled conditions. A One such challenge is the agronomic management of good example of the large- sale yield monitoring technolo- water throughout the season. While it is sometimes viewed gies needed to demonstrate yield improvements in the as an extension rather than a research challenge, new field comes from DuPont researchers who showed a 6.9% technologies have the potential to transform water man- yield advantage of highly water use- efficient corn hybrids agement in agriculture (e.g., smart weather sensing and across 2000 locations (Gaffney et al. 2015). We do not modeling for irrigation scheduling, or biodegradable plastic propose that such extensive approaches are required to mulches; Clawson and Blad 1981; Lebourgeois et al. 2009; demonstrate the value of potential new traits in the early Li et al. 2013). In dry environments, the adoption of part of discovery; rather that statements about “yield” no- tillage systems has been a major factor in increasing require a rigorous evidence base, careful consideration of soil organic matter by protecting it from erosion, and in alternative hypotheses for the observed results, and a clear conserving soil water through the season across much of appreciation of the likelihood of the trait having an impact the world’s agricultural lands (Derpsch et al. 2010). These in the field, before inclusion in publications. For example, systems typically require mechanized management aug- a yield increase of 50% is highly unlikely at a field level mented by the careful use of biodegradable herbicides so except in very specific circumstances. When such observa- that weeds do not develop resistance to chemical control. tions are included in publications, reviews, and funding In addition to policies encouraging the use of these tech- policies without an appropriate field- based context, this niques, the development of herbicide-tolerant varieties can result in significant distortions in policy and invest- (usually, but not necessarily, GMO) has facilitated the ment strategies and outcomes. rapid adoption of no- till, especially in South America. It is important that fundamental research interrogating Herbicide-tolerant GMO varieties have therefore had a how crops survive stress is carried out so as to inform significant impact on yield in dryland environments by the development of new varieties. The development of encouraging the adoption of no- till and its water- conserving water use- efficient wheat such as Drysdale, which has 10% benefits. higher yields in dry conditions, as well as the breeding There has been considerable investment in molecular of durum wheat with a 25% greater grain yield in saline and laboratory- based solutions to stress tolerance. These conditions, were both the products of fundamental research investments include the use of sequencing technologies, discoveries applied to breeding programs (Rebetzke et al. the deployment of molecular markers, “speed breeding”, 2002; Munns et al. 2012). These are good examples of and – to a limited extent – genetic modification. GMOs why investment in both fundamental and applied solu- (for herbicide and insect tolerance) have made substantial tions to stress tolerance is needed. Furthermore, investment contributions to increased food production (Qaim 2009; in translational research is essential to establish the robust- Klümper and Qaim 2014), but genetically complex traits ness of fundamental research solutions prior to their such as drought and salinity tolerance (much like the implementation in farming systems (Gilliham et al. 2017). introduction of C4 photosynthesis into rice or nitrogen It should also be noted that these are long-term invest - fixation into other cereals) require multigene solutions ments; it took 20 years for Drysdale to be released fol- with significant lead times. These latter initiatives have lowing elucidation of the trait underlying its increased received significant investment from NGOs; however, water use efficiency. similar investment has not occurred for paradigm- shifting To most effectively deploy research aimed at improving research in the stress resilience of cropping systems. the stress resilience of cropping systems, an integrated Assessment of impact and the evaluation of success science, policy, and society approach is needed to ensure and value can change and diverge substantially in the that disparate skillsets and expertise come together. transition from fundamental through to applied research Although it is not exclusively the case, scientists who and to the field. This generates several challenges, par- perform most of their stress tolerance research in the ticularly for research teams trying to span all levels of laboratory, and those based primarily in the field, operate complexity to demonstrate and deliver new traits for stress in different arenas and rarely interact or combine efforts. resilience. For example, current funding and publication The involvement of primary producers in research strategy policies at the fundamental end of the research pipeline or projects can also be lacking. Future research cannot © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 7 Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems M. Gilliham et al. afford to ignore the potential synergies gained by involv- field, to the ecosystem level, to develop crops and crop- ing all three stakeholders. Examples of projects that have ping systems that will meet future needs. Such a holistic benefited from broad involvement include those listed approach will require the intelligent use of “big data,” above, that is, the development of water use-efficient wheat and the development of new technologies to support or salt-tolerant durum wheat, but more are needed. research studies and the application of research findings Unfortunately, funding is a currently one barrier to pro- in the field. gress in this area. Few funding structures can take on Agriculture, like many other areas, is undergoing a data promising advances made in fundamental science, validate revolution; examples range from real- time monitoring of them, and assess whether they can be translated into the livestock health and condition; automated glasshouse con- yield gains in the field (Gilliham et al., 2017). A recent trol of vegetable quality; and the application of satellites, report by the Australian Academy of Science identified a unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), machine yield moni- specific fund for translational science as a key priority tors, and farmer information crowdsourcing platforms. for the future (Australian Academy of Sciences, 2017). These new technologies and associated data generate a Funding is not the only issue. Stress-tolerance traits wealth of opportunities for new discoveries and innovative related to survival identified in laboratory- based studies solutions, but at the same time create numerous chal- are often not relevant for maintaining yield in the field lenges for policy development. (e.g., Chapman et al. 2002; Hammer et al. 2016); there- There is growing pressure from governments and funders fore, policies must be created to fund structures that work across the globe to make public data more open and acces- toward applying, translating, and researching yield improve- sible. However, what open data mean in practice, and how ment in the field over the mid- to- long-term (Gilliham it will contribute toward increasing food security, improving et al., 2016). This is another reason why encouraging human health and nutrition, and ensuring the more sus- entities that have not commonly worked together (e.g., tainable management of natural resources, is still being laboratory- based fundamental scientists and field- based assessed and the associated policies are in development. researchers) to join forces is important to ensure that For example, how do you balance “data ownership” – which traits relevant to stress resilience in the field are examined may encourage business development and competition – and rigorous translational studies are conducted. The with the concept of “open data?” private sector designs research flows to ensure that links Initiatives such as Global Open Data for Agriculture between research tracks function to deliver improved and Nutrition (GODAN) are grappling with this and many germplasm, but these are more challenging to develop other issues associated with the open data concept. GODAN within the public sector research system. Policy that encour- supports the proactive sharing of open data to deal with ages public–private partnerships is increasingly utilized in the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security. By sponsoring agronomy research, but less so in plant bringing national governments together with nongovern- breeding. mental, international, and private sector organizations, A more detailed assessment of traits relevant to stress GODAN seeks to support global efforts to make agricul- tolerance in the field can be found elsewhere and are tural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, often informed by predictive modeling of agricultural and usable for unrestricted use worldwide. The initiative systems (e.g., Cooper et al. 2014; Hammer et al. 2016). focuses on building high-level policy and public and pri- Borrell & Reynolds (2017) discuss the need to join and vate institutional support for open data. The existence maximize islands of isolated knowledge to maximize poten- and popularity of GODAN (450 partners) illustrates how tial outcomes. This applies to both isolated concurrent far- reaching the issue of open data is, and that if progress research being conducted on similar topics through form- is to be made, solutions and policies must be developed ing effective collaborations. A balance needs to be struck and adopted at a global scale. to avoid “tipping the scales” and creating situations in For policies to truly have maximum impact, the con- which new initiatives are funded at the expense of pure versation must move beyond the science and governance fundamental research that feeds the innovations of tomor- arena. Widening the conversation to the broader global row, or purely field- based studies that inform practice community is therefore vital, but does require initiatives and lead to important gains. to train, equip, and encourage scientists and science com- municators to engage members of the public with research of broader media interest. Although many scientists are The Bigger Picture well trained to perform their laboratory or field- based For multifactorial traits such as drought and salinity tol- research, they often lack the skills required to communicate erance, research investment and policy decisions must take their research and its implications to a general audience a “big picture” approach ranging from the gene, to the in an easily accessible and approachable manner. Several 8 © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. M. Gilliham et al. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems organizations and programs across the globe provide train- c. On current regulatory frameworks of relevance to ing in communication and outreach; for example, Sense stress resilience research. About Science, a UK- based charity with new EU and US- • Assess current community needs by: based counterparts, has established the Plant Science Panel, d. Undertaking electronic survey(s) of the GPC’s mem- a group of expert plant scientists that answers questions bership, and the wider community, to understand the (online) posed by members of the public to help promote major bottlenecks to developing stress-resilient crops understanding and address misconceptions on any plant and cropping systems with respect to policy and regu- science- related topic. The same charity has also set up the latory frameworks. Voices of Young Science network, and an associated series of successful “Standing up for Science” workshops across the UK, that helps to better equip early career scientists Medium term to talk about their research, and provides advice on how • Help build a consensus by: to get involved in discussions in the public arena. Projects like this are essential to help provide researchers with the a. Developing position statements based on the findings skills, confidence, and opportunities to contribute to sci- of the landscape study and survey of needs. ence and policy-based discussions. b. Working with other key organizations to develop Forming evidence- based policies that will have the great- international consensuses, taking key political issues est impact will require a full consideration of all viewpoints into account, which outline current bottlenecks and and surrounding issues. Policies cannot be developed, potential solutions to improving the policy environ- much less implemented, unless there is consensus, and ment of relevance to developing stress-resilient crops consensus cannot be reached without being fully informed and cropping systems. of the research, funding, and policy landscape. Developing an informed “community” requires effective communica- Long term tion between all stakeholders. Such a dialog should take place in an international context and involve not just • Advocate for the inclusion and implementation of sci- those embedded in the research, policy, and regulatory entific consensus in international policy and regulatory arenas but also the wider public. frameworks. • Advise international bodies, funders, and other forums to inform funding, regulatory, and policy decisions. Actions Trying to help bridge the gap between science and policy Developing an informed community – is logistically, culturally, and politically challenging but, as promoting a global conversation has been demonstrated with “big issues” such as climate change and the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Short term Climate Change, it is possible. The question is: can the • Exchange research and policy knowledge by: plant/agricultural community develop a similar global effort? As a global organization with members across six con- a. Using the GPC’s social media channels to help those tinents, the Global Plant Council (GPC) (http://globalplant- working on similar topics in the areas of stress-resilient council.org/) is well placed to help facilitate better integration crops and cropping systems to become more aware between the research, funding, regulatory, and policy of each other’s efforts and activities. domains, as outlined by the mechanisms proposed below. b. Raising awareness of current open access and data- sharing policies, as well as examples of appropriate and inappropriate experimental methods in different Building consensus view research tracks. Short term c. Generating an online database of the information gathered in the landscape study. • Develop an understanding of the current landscape by: a. Gathering evidence on the current scientific consensus Short- to- medium term regarding what is required at the international level to develop stress-resilient crops and cropping systems; for • Develop viewpoint articles from a range of stakeholders example, reports, papers, and position statements. on the current challenges and solutions in building b. Collating information on current projects across the adequate and robust frameworks at the science/policy globe and, interface. © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 9 Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems M. Gilliham et al. • Publicize these articles via social and traditional media, References with accompanying, engaging materials (e.g., videos, Asseng, S., F. Ewert, P. Martre, et al. 2015. Rising leaflets, case studies) to raise awareness of global issues temperatures reduce global wheat production. Nat. Clim. in local contexts, and start a conversation with the public, Chang. 5:143–147. stakeholders, and politicians. Australian Academy of Sciences. 2017. Decadal plan for agriculture. Available at https://www.science.org.au/ Medium- to- long term support/analysis/decadal-plans-science/decadal-plan- agriculture (accessed 10 February 2017). • Collate articles and viewpoints into an annual online Borrell, A., and M. Reynolds. 2017. Integrating islands of publication. knowledge for greater synergy and efficiency in crop research. Food and Energy Secur. 6:26–36. Challinor, A. J., J. Watson, D. B. Lobell, S. M. Howden, D. Training a new generation of plant science R. Smith, and N. Chhetri. 2014. A meta- analysis of crop communicators to “stand up” for evidence- yield under climate change and adaptation. Nat. Clim. based policies Chang. 4:287–291. Short term Chapman, S. C., G. L. Hammer, D. W. Podlich, and M. Cooper. 2002. Linking bio-physical and genetic models to • Collate information about existing science communica- integrate physiology, molecular biology and plant tion and science policy courses and advertise them to breeding. Pp. 167–187 in M. Kang, ed. “Quantitative a wider audience. genetics, genomics, and plant breeding” (Invited paper at • Provide discussion points about what constitutes rigor in Symposium on Quantitative Genetics for the 21st demonstrating physiological (to scientists and funders) Century, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March 2001). CAB and field-level (to farmers) value of stress resilience research International, Wallingford, UK. Chaves, M. M., J. Flexas, and C. Pinheiro. 2009. Longer term Photosynthesis under drought and salt stress: regulation mechanisms from whole plant to cell. Ann. Bot. • Work with others to assess which approaches and courses 103:551–560. are productive/successful, and for which audiences (school, Clawson, K. L., and B. L. Blad. 1981. Infrared thermometry community group, government, international). Based on for scheduling irrigation of corn. Agron. J. 74:311–316. this, the GPC could help to develop future online courses Cooper, M., C. Gho, R. Leafgren, T. Tang, and C. Messina. (e.g., massive open online courses) to enthuse and inspire 2014. Breeding drought- tolerant maize hybrids for the US a new generation of communicators. corn- belt: discovery to product. J. Exp. Bot. 65:6191–6204. Derpsch, R., T. Friedrich, A. Kassam, and L. Hongwen. Establishing consensus is the first step toward realizing effec- 2010. Current status of adoption of no- till farming in tive, global, evidence- based policies for plant science and allied the world and some of its main benefits. Int. J. Agric. research and development. If multiple, diverse stakeholders Biol. Eng. 3:1–25. from around the world can be brought together under the Gaffney, J., J. Schussler, C. Löffler, W. Cai, S. Paszkiewicz, banner of a single, global organization, such as the Global C. Messina, et al. 2015. Industry scale evaluation of Plant Council, then our combined voices will be much louder. maize hybrids selected for increased yield in drought stress conditions of the U.S. Corn Belt. Crop Sci. 55:1608–1618. Acknowledgments Gilliham, M., J. A. Able, and S. J. Roy. 2017. Translating This paper is based on outcomes from a Stress Resilience knowledge about abiotic stress tolerance to breeding Symposium held in Brazil in October 2015 organized by programmes. Plant J. Online 8th February 2017. the Global Plant Council and Society for Experimental Biology. doi:10.1111/tpj.13456. The authors would like to thank the Society for Experimental Hammer, G. L., G. McLean, A. Doherty, van Oosterom E., Biology for funding support for this symposium. and S. C. Chapman. 2016. Sorghum crop modeling and its utility in agronomy and breeding. In I. Ciampitti, V. Prasad, eds. Sorghum: state of the art and future Conflict of Interest perspectives, agronomy monograph 58. ASA and CSSA, The authors of this article are either affiliated to the Global Madison, WI. doi:10.2134/agronmonogr58.2014.0064 Plant Council through membership of their Society or Huang, X. Y., D. Y. Chao, J. P. Gao, M. Z. Zhu, M. Shi, are employed by the Global Plant Council. and H. X. Lin. 2009. A previously unknown zinc finger 10 © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. M. Gilliham et al. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems protein, DST, regulates drought and salt tolerance in influence of drought and heat stress for crops in rice via stomatal aperture control. Genes Dev. northeast Australia. Glob. Change Biol. 21:4115–4127. 23:1805–1817. Munns, R., and M. Gilliham. 2015. Salinity tolerance of Klümper, W., and M. Qaim. 2014. A meta- analysis of the crops – what is the cost? New Phytol. 208:668–673. impacts of genetically modified crops. PLoS ONE Munns, R., R. A. James, B. Xu, et al. 2012. Wheat grain 9:e111629. yield on saline soils is improved by an ancestral Na Lebourgeois, V., J.-L. Chopart, A. Bégue, and L. Le Mézo. transporter gene. Nat. Biotechnol. 30:360–364. 2009. Towards using a thermal infrared index combined Qaim, M. 2009. The economics of genetically modified with water balance modelling to monitor sugarcane crops. Annu. Rev. Resour. Economics 1:665–694. irrigation in a tropical environment. Agric. Water Manag. Rebetzke, G. J., A. G. Condon, R. A. Richards, and G. D. 97:75–82. Farquhar. 2002. Selection for reduced carbon isotope Li, S. X., Z. H. Wang, S. Q. Li, Y. J. Gao, and X. H. Tian. discrimination increases aerial biomass and grain yield 2013. Effect of plastic sheet mulch, wheat straw mulch, of rainfed bread wheat. Crop Sci. 42:739–745. and maize growth on water loss by evaporation in United Nations. 2015. Sustainable development goals dryland areas of China. Agric. Water Manag. 116:39–49. [online]. Available at http://www.un.org/ Lobell, D. B., G. L. Hammer, K. Chenu, B. Zheng, G. sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ McLean, and S. C. Chapman. 2015. The shifting (accessed 10 February 2017). © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 11
Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/the-case-for-evidence-based-policy-to-support-stress-resilient-6FXYErEwPS
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and the Association of Applied Biologists
ISSN
2048-3694
eISSN
2048-3694
DOI
10.1002/fes3.104
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Crop productivity targets, food security, Research and the dissemination of evidence- based guidelines for best practice in collaboration, research strategy. crop production are fundamental for the protection of our crop yields against Correspondence biotic and abiotic threats, and for meeting ambitious food production targets by Matthew Gilliham, Plant Transport and 2050. The advances in knowledge required for sustaining crop productivity targets Signalling Lab, ARC Centre of Excellence in will be gained through three research tracks: (1) basic strategic research in the Plant Energy Biology, School of Agriculture, field, for example, crop breeding, agronomy, and advanced phenotyping; (2) Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, translational research involving the application of advances in fundamental sci- University of Adelaide, Glen Osmond, SA ence; and (3) pure fundamental research to fuel future translational research. We 5064, Australia. Tel: +61 8 8313 8145; E-mail: matthew.gilliham@adelaide.edu.au propose that policy and funding structures need to be improved to facilitate and encourage more interactions between scientists involved in all three research tracks, Funding Information and also between researchers and farmers, to improve the effectiveness of deliver- M.G. funding – Grains Research and ing improvements in crop stress resilience. History illustrates that it is challenging Development Corporation (UA00145), The for public researchers to “stretch across” all of these research tracks, with effective International Wheat Yield Partnership farm- level solutions being more likely when end-users and industry are directly (IWYP60FP/ANU00027), and the Australian engaged in the research pipeline. As research proceeds from fundamental through Research Council (FT130100709 and CE140100008). to applied research, the demand for experimental rigor and a wider understanding of appropriate methods and outcomes is paramount, that is, demonstrating value Received: 24 February 2017; in yield at the field level requires the input of experienced practitioners from Accepted: 28 February 2017 each research track. The development of evidence- based policies to support all funding structures and the engagement of producers with both the development Food and Energy Security 2017 6(1): 5–11 of research, and with the findings of such research, will form an important ca - pability in meeting food security targets. This commentary, concentrating on the doi: 10.1002/fes3.104 development of policies to support research and its dissemination, is based on discussions held at the Stress Resilience Symposium organized by the Global Plant Council and Society of Experimental Biology in October 2015. between science and policy is therefore important, and Introduction it is essential that research funding and policy develop- Research into the development of stress- resilient plants ment should be intrinsically linked. However, this is not and cropping systems has the potential to generate sig- always the case and more needs to be done to develop nificant positive, worldwide impacts for dealing with climate effective, global, evidence- based policies for plant change and ensuring global food security. Research alone science. cannot bring about fundamental change; rather research So how do these two, often disparate, areas of science findings can be used to build evidence for reaching con - and policy interact and influence each other? In terms sensus, which in turn helps to exact a change in behavior of the effects of science on policy, the results of well- or practice through policy development. The interface designed scientific research can provide the evidence on © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 5 This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems M. Gilliham et al. which to base consensus in the scientific community. In results from the international research community. This turn, scientific consensus provides the foundation on which in turn depends – to a large extent – on scientists sum- to build adequate and robust policies for developing and marizing and explaining their work in a manner that is researching efficient and sustainable practices that will accessible and understandable to nonspecialist audience support crop improvement and furnish food and agri- so that others including funders and policy makers can cultural products to the growing human population. understand current research efforts and what comprises Policy impacts science in many different ways; for high- quality scientific method in different tracks of research. example, it affects the level of public and private invest- ment in both research and development, and determines Learning from Past Experience the strategic priorities that direct where this investment is targeted. Institutional, governmental, and national poli- Biotic and abiotic stresses have negative impacts on crop cies also impinge on and control how research data are productivity and thus are major limiting factors to global collected, accessed, exchanged, and stored in both the food and nutritional security, and to the production of public and private sectors. Policies and regulations related agricultural products. Global wheat production, for exam- to the safe use and application of technologies also have ple, is projected to decrease by 6% for each degree cen- significant impacts on the agricultural sector; for example, tigrade of global warming, together with an increased technologies that support decision-making (e.g., satellites variability in yield across regions and seasons (Asseng and drones), and/or the implementation of solutions (e.g., et al. 2015). Yield losses are also predicted for other major genetically modified organisms [GMOs], chemicals, crops (e.g., Challinor et al. 2014). robots). One of the predictions for a changing climate is an The potential for a disconnect between the science and increasing incidence of extreme weather events. In some policy arenas becomes amplified at the international level, areas this will mean more prevalent drought, heat, and/ with governments and funding bodies around the world or salinity events, and research into plant tolerance to varying in the ways in which they decide upon and develop these stresses will be paramount to improve crop suitability funding strategies and regulatory and policy frameworks. for such conditions and mitigate stress effects on crop These variations exist although all nations (developed and yield. For example, Lobell et al. (2015) revealed that while developing) face common challenges (as stated in the drought will continue to impact yields of wheat and sor- Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable ghum in Northeast Australia, breeders will need to increase Development Goals (United Nations, 2015)), common the heat tolerance of these crops to mitigate the damage environments (e.g., rain- fed crops in Australia, and sub- from increasing frequencies of extreme heat stress events Saharan Africa and central- western India frequently experi- in this region. Such research topics are not new endeavors, ence drought), grow common crops of interest (e.g., maize, and the lessons learned from previous and current research wheat, rice, sorghum, barley, tubers, legumes), and are can inform us how new policies might best support the all inhabitants on a common planet (combating climate development of stress- resilient cropping systems (Gilliham change is a universal issue). et al. 2017). Despite these universal links, it is the national agencies For instance, from the outcomes of previous research and bodies that are the major funders and regulators of on drought and salinity research it is clear that tolerance research. As a result, national funders – quite reasonably – to these stresses is complex requiring multiple traits, with place restrictions on expenditure in other jurisdictions tolerance to each stress composed of multiple traits (e.g., and wish to be in control of their own regulatory frame- for salinity; exclusion of salt from the shoot, stomatal works. This can result in fractured – and in some cases closure, detoxification of reactive oxygen species, the adap- conflicting – policies across the globe that subsequently tation to low water potential in the soil); some of these act as a barrier to collaboration, and limit the ability to traits are required for tolerance to both stresses (Chaves collate and share data, resources, and intellectual property et al. 2009; Huang et al. 2009; Munns and Gilliham 2015). across national boundaries. The end point of this is the In extreme circumstances, crops can face multiple threats loss of added value that can be gained from linking par- at the same time, for example, low water availability, high allel efforts or by concentrating research in priority areas salinity, high temperatures and biological pests; therefore, of global significance. crops must be well adapted to multiple threats. Given the significant impact of policy on research, from Tolerance to abiotic stress requires both consideration a global perspective, it is vital that policy decisions take of the crop’s genetics (and its capacity to respond to the account of global scientific consensus, and that policy environment), and the best crop management to mitigate decisions impacting and influencing the plant and agri- the impact of a stress. A holistic approach is needed cultural arena be fully informed by scientific method and whereby multiple research angles are deployed and 6 © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. M. Gilliham et al. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems integrated to achieve the best results, encompassing genet- often require demonstration of impact, leading to numer- ics, breeding, physiology, predictive modeling, agronomy, ous articles in plant journals containing statements such and extension to growers (Hammer et al. 2016). In com- as “trait X has shown substantial yield improvement in bination, these approaches have led to research impact glasshouse conditions”. Critically, however, few of these through translation in both the private and public sector, effects will demonstrably translate to increases in yield but have required a substantial cross- scale effort for delivery under field conditions, despite the rigorous and repeatable (Gilliham et al. 2017). demonstration of trait effects in controlled conditions. A One such challenge is the agronomic management of good example of the large- sale yield monitoring technolo- water throughout the season. While it is sometimes viewed gies needed to demonstrate yield improvements in the as an extension rather than a research challenge, new field comes from DuPont researchers who showed a 6.9% technologies have the potential to transform water man- yield advantage of highly water use- efficient corn hybrids agement in agriculture (e.g., smart weather sensing and across 2000 locations (Gaffney et al. 2015). We do not modeling for irrigation scheduling, or biodegradable plastic propose that such extensive approaches are required to mulches; Clawson and Blad 1981; Lebourgeois et al. 2009; demonstrate the value of potential new traits in the early Li et al. 2013). In dry environments, the adoption of part of discovery; rather that statements about “yield” no- tillage systems has been a major factor in increasing require a rigorous evidence base, careful consideration of soil organic matter by protecting it from erosion, and in alternative hypotheses for the observed results, and a clear conserving soil water through the season across much of appreciation of the likelihood of the trait having an impact the world’s agricultural lands (Derpsch et al. 2010). These in the field, before inclusion in publications. For example, systems typically require mechanized management aug- a yield increase of 50% is highly unlikely at a field level mented by the careful use of biodegradable herbicides so except in very specific circumstances. When such observa- that weeds do not develop resistance to chemical control. tions are included in publications, reviews, and funding In addition to policies encouraging the use of these tech- policies without an appropriate field- based context, this niques, the development of herbicide-tolerant varieties can result in significant distortions in policy and invest- (usually, but not necessarily, GMO) has facilitated the ment strategies and outcomes. rapid adoption of no- till, especially in South America. It is important that fundamental research interrogating Herbicide-tolerant GMO varieties have therefore had a how crops survive stress is carried out so as to inform significant impact on yield in dryland environments by the development of new varieties. The development of encouraging the adoption of no- till and its water- conserving water use- efficient wheat such as Drysdale, which has 10% benefits. higher yields in dry conditions, as well as the breeding There has been considerable investment in molecular of durum wheat with a 25% greater grain yield in saline and laboratory- based solutions to stress tolerance. These conditions, were both the products of fundamental research investments include the use of sequencing technologies, discoveries applied to breeding programs (Rebetzke et al. the deployment of molecular markers, “speed breeding”, 2002; Munns et al. 2012). These are good examples of and – to a limited extent – genetic modification. GMOs why investment in both fundamental and applied solu- (for herbicide and insect tolerance) have made substantial tions to stress tolerance is needed. Furthermore, investment contributions to increased food production (Qaim 2009; in translational research is essential to establish the robust- Klümper and Qaim 2014), but genetically complex traits ness of fundamental research solutions prior to their such as drought and salinity tolerance (much like the implementation in farming systems (Gilliham et al. 2017). introduction of C4 photosynthesis into rice or nitrogen It should also be noted that these are long-term invest - fixation into other cereals) require multigene solutions ments; it took 20 years for Drysdale to be released fol- with significant lead times. These latter initiatives have lowing elucidation of the trait underlying its increased received significant investment from NGOs; however, water use efficiency. similar investment has not occurred for paradigm- shifting To most effectively deploy research aimed at improving research in the stress resilience of cropping systems. the stress resilience of cropping systems, an integrated Assessment of impact and the evaluation of success science, policy, and society approach is needed to ensure and value can change and diverge substantially in the that disparate skillsets and expertise come together. transition from fundamental through to applied research Although it is not exclusively the case, scientists who and to the field. This generates several challenges, par- perform most of their stress tolerance research in the ticularly for research teams trying to span all levels of laboratory, and those based primarily in the field, operate complexity to demonstrate and deliver new traits for stress in different arenas and rarely interact or combine efforts. resilience. For example, current funding and publication The involvement of primary producers in research strategy policies at the fundamental end of the research pipeline or projects can also be lacking. Future research cannot © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 7 Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems M. Gilliham et al. afford to ignore the potential synergies gained by involv- field, to the ecosystem level, to develop crops and crop- ing all three stakeholders. Examples of projects that have ping systems that will meet future needs. Such a holistic benefited from broad involvement include those listed approach will require the intelligent use of “big data,” above, that is, the development of water use-efficient wheat and the development of new technologies to support or salt-tolerant durum wheat, but more are needed. research studies and the application of research findings Unfortunately, funding is a currently one barrier to pro- in the field. gress in this area. Few funding structures can take on Agriculture, like many other areas, is undergoing a data promising advances made in fundamental science, validate revolution; examples range from real- time monitoring of them, and assess whether they can be translated into the livestock health and condition; automated glasshouse con- yield gains in the field (Gilliham et al., 2017). A recent trol of vegetable quality; and the application of satellites, report by the Australian Academy of Science identified a unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), machine yield moni- specific fund for translational science as a key priority tors, and farmer information crowdsourcing platforms. for the future (Australian Academy of Sciences, 2017). These new technologies and associated data generate a Funding is not the only issue. Stress-tolerance traits wealth of opportunities for new discoveries and innovative related to survival identified in laboratory- based studies solutions, but at the same time create numerous chal- are often not relevant for maintaining yield in the field lenges for policy development. (e.g., Chapman et al. 2002; Hammer et al. 2016); there- There is growing pressure from governments and funders fore, policies must be created to fund structures that work across the globe to make public data more open and acces- toward applying, translating, and researching yield improve- sible. However, what open data mean in practice, and how ment in the field over the mid- to- long-term (Gilliham it will contribute toward increasing food security, improving et al., 2016). This is another reason why encouraging human health and nutrition, and ensuring the more sus- entities that have not commonly worked together (e.g., tainable management of natural resources, is still being laboratory- based fundamental scientists and field- based assessed and the associated policies are in development. researchers) to join forces is important to ensure that For example, how do you balance “data ownership” – which traits relevant to stress resilience in the field are examined may encourage business development and competition – and rigorous translational studies are conducted. The with the concept of “open data?” private sector designs research flows to ensure that links Initiatives such as Global Open Data for Agriculture between research tracks function to deliver improved and Nutrition (GODAN) are grappling with this and many germplasm, but these are more challenging to develop other issues associated with the open data concept. GODAN within the public sector research system. Policy that encour- supports the proactive sharing of open data to deal with ages public–private partnerships is increasingly utilized in the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security. By sponsoring agronomy research, but less so in plant bringing national governments together with nongovern- breeding. mental, international, and private sector organizations, A more detailed assessment of traits relevant to stress GODAN seeks to support global efforts to make agricul- tolerance in the field can be found elsewhere and are tural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, often informed by predictive modeling of agricultural and usable for unrestricted use worldwide. The initiative systems (e.g., Cooper et al. 2014; Hammer et al. 2016). focuses on building high-level policy and public and pri- Borrell & Reynolds (2017) discuss the need to join and vate institutional support for open data. The existence maximize islands of isolated knowledge to maximize poten- and popularity of GODAN (450 partners) illustrates how tial outcomes. This applies to both isolated concurrent far- reaching the issue of open data is, and that if progress research being conducted on similar topics through form- is to be made, solutions and policies must be developed ing effective collaborations. A balance needs to be struck and adopted at a global scale. to avoid “tipping the scales” and creating situations in For policies to truly have maximum impact, the con- which new initiatives are funded at the expense of pure versation must move beyond the science and governance fundamental research that feeds the innovations of tomor- arena. Widening the conversation to the broader global row, or purely field- based studies that inform practice community is therefore vital, but does require initiatives and lead to important gains. to train, equip, and encourage scientists and science com- municators to engage members of the public with research of broader media interest. Although many scientists are The Bigger Picture well trained to perform their laboratory or field- based For multifactorial traits such as drought and salinity tol- research, they often lack the skills required to communicate erance, research investment and policy decisions must take their research and its implications to a general audience a “big picture” approach ranging from the gene, to the in an easily accessible and approachable manner. Several 8 © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. M. Gilliham et al. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems organizations and programs across the globe provide train- c. On current regulatory frameworks of relevance to ing in communication and outreach; for example, Sense stress resilience research. About Science, a UK- based charity with new EU and US- • Assess current community needs by: based counterparts, has established the Plant Science Panel, d. Undertaking electronic survey(s) of the GPC’s mem- a group of expert plant scientists that answers questions bership, and the wider community, to understand the (online) posed by members of the public to help promote major bottlenecks to developing stress-resilient crops understanding and address misconceptions on any plant and cropping systems with respect to policy and regu- science- related topic. The same charity has also set up the latory frameworks. Voices of Young Science network, and an associated series of successful “Standing up for Science” workshops across the UK, that helps to better equip early career scientists Medium term to talk about their research, and provides advice on how • Help build a consensus by: to get involved in discussions in the public arena. Projects like this are essential to help provide researchers with the a. Developing position statements based on the findings skills, confidence, and opportunities to contribute to sci- of the landscape study and survey of needs. ence and policy-based discussions. b. Working with other key organizations to develop Forming evidence- based policies that will have the great- international consensuses, taking key political issues est impact will require a full consideration of all viewpoints into account, which outline current bottlenecks and and surrounding issues. Policies cannot be developed, potential solutions to improving the policy environ- much less implemented, unless there is consensus, and ment of relevance to developing stress-resilient crops consensus cannot be reached without being fully informed and cropping systems. of the research, funding, and policy landscape. Developing an informed “community” requires effective communica- Long term tion between all stakeholders. Such a dialog should take place in an international context and involve not just • Advocate for the inclusion and implementation of sci- those embedded in the research, policy, and regulatory entific consensus in international policy and regulatory arenas but also the wider public. frameworks. • Advise international bodies, funders, and other forums to inform funding, regulatory, and policy decisions. Actions Trying to help bridge the gap between science and policy Developing an informed community – is logistically, culturally, and politically challenging but, as promoting a global conversation has been demonstrated with “big issues” such as climate change and the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Short term Climate Change, it is possible. The question is: can the • Exchange research and policy knowledge by: plant/agricultural community develop a similar global effort? As a global organization with members across six con- a. Using the GPC’s social media channels to help those tinents, the Global Plant Council (GPC) (http://globalplant- working on similar topics in the areas of stress-resilient council.org/) is well placed to help facilitate better integration crops and cropping systems to become more aware between the research, funding, regulatory, and policy of each other’s efforts and activities. domains, as outlined by the mechanisms proposed below. b. Raising awareness of current open access and data- sharing policies, as well as examples of appropriate and inappropriate experimental methods in different Building consensus view research tracks. Short term c. Generating an online database of the information gathered in the landscape study. • Develop an understanding of the current landscape by: a. Gathering evidence on the current scientific consensus Short- to- medium term regarding what is required at the international level to develop stress-resilient crops and cropping systems; for • Develop viewpoint articles from a range of stakeholders example, reports, papers, and position statements. on the current challenges and solutions in building b. Collating information on current projects across the adequate and robust frameworks at the science/policy globe and, interface. © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 9 Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems M. Gilliham et al. • Publicize these articles via social and traditional media, References with accompanying, engaging materials (e.g., videos, Asseng, S., F. Ewert, P. Martre, et al. 2015. Rising leaflets, case studies) to raise awareness of global issues temperatures reduce global wheat production. Nat. Clim. in local contexts, and start a conversation with the public, Chang. 5:143–147. stakeholders, and politicians. Australian Academy of Sciences. 2017. Decadal plan for agriculture. Available at https://www.science.org.au/ Medium- to- long term support/analysis/decadal-plans-science/decadal-plan- agriculture (accessed 10 February 2017). • Collate articles and viewpoints into an annual online Borrell, A., and M. Reynolds. 2017. Integrating islands of publication. knowledge for greater synergy and efficiency in crop research. Food and Energy Secur. 6:26–36. Challinor, A. J., J. Watson, D. B. Lobell, S. M. Howden, D. Training a new generation of plant science R. Smith, and N. Chhetri. 2014. A meta- analysis of crop communicators to “stand up” for evidence- yield under climate change and adaptation. Nat. Clim. based policies Chang. 4:287–291. Short term Chapman, S. C., G. L. Hammer, D. W. Podlich, and M. Cooper. 2002. Linking bio-physical and genetic models to • Collate information about existing science communica- integrate physiology, molecular biology and plant tion and science policy courses and advertise them to breeding. Pp. 167–187 in M. Kang, ed. “Quantitative a wider audience. genetics, genomics, and plant breeding” (Invited paper at • Provide discussion points about what constitutes rigor in Symposium on Quantitative Genetics for the 21st demonstrating physiological (to scientists and funders) Century, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March 2001). CAB and field-level (to farmers) value of stress resilience research International, Wallingford, UK. Chaves, M. M., J. Flexas, and C. Pinheiro. 2009. Longer term Photosynthesis under drought and salt stress: regulation mechanisms from whole plant to cell. Ann. Bot. • Work with others to assess which approaches and courses 103:551–560. are productive/successful, and for which audiences (school, Clawson, K. L., and B. L. Blad. 1981. Infrared thermometry community group, government, international). Based on for scheduling irrigation of corn. Agron. J. 74:311–316. this, the GPC could help to develop future online courses Cooper, M., C. Gho, R. Leafgren, T. Tang, and C. Messina. (e.g., massive open online courses) to enthuse and inspire 2014. Breeding drought- tolerant maize hybrids for the US a new generation of communicators. corn- belt: discovery to product. J. Exp. Bot. 65:6191–6204. Derpsch, R., T. Friedrich, A. Kassam, and L. Hongwen. Establishing consensus is the first step toward realizing effec- 2010. Current status of adoption of no- till farming in tive, global, evidence- based policies for plant science and allied the world and some of its main benefits. Int. J. Agric. research and development. If multiple, diverse stakeholders Biol. Eng. 3:1–25. from around the world can be brought together under the Gaffney, J., J. Schussler, C. Löffler, W. Cai, S. Paszkiewicz, banner of a single, global organization, such as the Global C. Messina, et al. 2015. Industry scale evaluation of Plant Council, then our combined voices will be much louder. maize hybrids selected for increased yield in drought stress conditions of the U.S. Corn Belt. Crop Sci. 55:1608–1618. Acknowledgments Gilliham, M., J. A. Able, and S. J. Roy. 2017. Translating This paper is based on outcomes from a Stress Resilience knowledge about abiotic stress tolerance to breeding Symposium held in Brazil in October 2015 organized by programmes. Plant J. Online 8th February 2017. the Global Plant Council and Society for Experimental Biology. doi:10.1111/tpj.13456. The authors would like to thank the Society for Experimental Hammer, G. L., G. McLean, A. Doherty, van Oosterom E., Biology for funding support for this symposium. and S. C. Chapman. 2016. Sorghum crop modeling and its utility in agronomy and breeding. In I. Ciampitti, V. Prasad, eds. Sorghum: state of the art and future Conflict of Interest perspectives, agronomy monograph 58. ASA and CSSA, The authors of this article are either affiliated to the Global Madison, WI. doi:10.2134/agronmonogr58.2014.0064 Plant Council through membership of their Society or Huang, X. Y., D. Y. Chao, J. P. Gao, M. Z. Zhu, M. Shi, are employed by the Global Plant Council. and H. X. Lin. 2009. A previously unknown zinc finger 10 © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. M. Gilliham et al. Support for Stress- resilient Cropping Systems protein, DST, regulates drought and salt tolerance in influence of drought and heat stress for crops in rice via stomatal aperture control. Genes Dev. northeast Australia. Glob. Change Biol. 21:4115–4127. 23:1805–1817. Munns, R., and M. Gilliham. 2015. Salinity tolerance of Klümper, W., and M. Qaim. 2014. A meta- analysis of the crops – what is the cost? New Phytol. 208:668–673. impacts of genetically modified crops. PLoS ONE Munns, R., R. A. James, B. Xu, et al. 2012. Wheat grain 9:e111629. yield on saline soils is improved by an ancestral Na Lebourgeois, V., J.-L. Chopart, A. Bégue, and L. Le Mézo. transporter gene. Nat. Biotechnol. 30:360–364. 2009. Towards using a thermal infrared index combined Qaim, M. 2009. The economics of genetically modified with water balance modelling to monitor sugarcane crops. Annu. Rev. Resour. Economics 1:665–694. irrigation in a tropical environment. Agric. Water Manag. Rebetzke, G. J., A. G. Condon, R. A. Richards, and G. D. 97:75–82. Farquhar. 2002. Selection for reduced carbon isotope Li, S. X., Z. H. Wang, S. Q. Li, Y. J. Gao, and X. H. Tian. discrimination increases aerial biomass and grain yield 2013. Effect of plastic sheet mulch, wheat straw mulch, of rainfed bread wheat. Crop Sci. 42:739–745. and maize growth on water loss by evaporation in United Nations. 2015. Sustainable development goals dryland areas of China. Agric. Water Manag. 116:39–49. [online]. Available at http://www.un.org/ Lobell, D. B., G. L. Hammer, K. Chenu, B. Zheng, G. sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ McLean, and S. C. Chapman. 2015. The shifting (accessed 10 February 2017). © 2017 The Authors. Food and Energy Security published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. and the Association of Applied Biologists. 11

Journal

Food and Energy SecurityWiley

Published: Feb 1, 2017

Keywords: ; ; ;

References