New BSPB Videos Demonstrate the Value of Plant Breeding for All
BSPB has produced a series of six short videos to explain the business and science of crop improvement, to encourage the next generation of plant scientists, and to demonstrate how plant breeding contributes positively to our everyday lives.
Developed as part of the Plant Breeding Matters platform, the videos seek to engage as wide a target audience as possible by making the benefits of plant breeding real and immediate to ordinary people—from innovation in our food, fuel and fibre products to better sports facilities and enhanced protection of our countryside, biodiversity and natural environment.
Renewed public interest in global issues such as climate change and food security had led to increased demand for information about the role of plant breeding in modern agriculture and food production. “Plant breeders are at the forefront of the innovation needed to meet the world’s future food needs, for example by developing higher-yielding, more climate-resilient crop varieties and by improving the resource-use efficiency of our major crops,” says Dr Penny Maplestone, chief executive at the British Society of Plant Breeders Ltd. “We hope these short videos will engage and appeal to as wide-ranging an audience as possible in helping to explain and illustrate the positive contribution of the plant breeding and seeds sector,” she said. All six videos can be viewed on YouTube via the BSPB website at: www.bspb.co.uk.
Plant Breeding: Past, Present and Future
Recently released, this new book by Dr John E. Bradshaw aims to help plant breeders by reviewing past achievements, currently successful practices, and emerging methods and techniques. Theoretical considerations are also presented to strike the right balance between being as simple as possible but as complex as necessary.
The book is divided into four parts. Part I is an historical introduction. Part II deals with the origin of genetic variation by mutation and recombination of DNA. Part III explains how the mating system of a crop species determines the genetic structure of its landraces and Part IV considers the three complementary options for future progress: use of sexual reproduction in further conventional breeding, base broadening and introgression; mutation breeding; and genetically modified crops. The book is available online at www.springer.com.
In the News
The Crop Trusts first deposits of 2016 made the news in March of 2016. The doors of what is known as the Doomsday Vault opened recently on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, as new seeds were delivered from the U.S. and Japan. ABC Australia published an article and video on the 7 March 2016, covering the deposit and giving readers an inside look into the Arctic Doomsday Vault, the final safeguard for the world’s biodiversity. Additionally AJ +, a global news community for the ‘connected generation,’ published a video on the 15 March 2016, on where the seeds of the world are kept in case of global catastrophe, which was watched by over 30 million viewers.