Doubling genetic diversity for crop improvement: practical steps towards global food security

When:  Dec 15, 2021 from 16:30 to 18:00 (UTC)
Associated with  Food and Nutrition Security
Inaugural Lecture of Professor Nigel Maxted
Doubling genetic diversity for crop improvement: practical steps towards global food security

This is an in-person event at the Teaching and Learning Building at the University of Birmingham. In-person registration is via Eventbrite. The lecture will also be streamed live via Zoom Webinar.  For those who cannot attend in person, registration for the Zoom webinar is here

Plant Genetic Resources (PGR), the genetic diversity of plants which is of value as a resource for crop improvement, have a critical role to play in global food and nutrition security. 

Today agriculture and food production are facing numerous challenges such as climate change, land degradation, soil impoverishment, pest and diseases epidemics, genetic erosion and so on. These challenges are each negatively impacting global food production.

Sustaining daily food security is becoming more and more dependent on greater breadth of resources found in traditional farming systems and in nature, that are themselves increasingly being eroded or extinguished. The importance of PGR to sustaining agriculture is recognized internationally. 

In the last few decades significant progress towards more effective conservation has been planned, methodologies and tools for the sustainable conservation and use of PGR are in place. But currently breeders’ access to PGR diversity is limiting crop improvement and is a contributing factor to global malnourishment and starvation.

Systematic use of existing methodologies and tools offers the potential for conservationist to at least double the diversity available to breeders, which in turn will enable them to create novel, improved climate smart varieties able to feed the predicted human population of 9.8 billion in 2050.

Photo by MPCA Photos CC BY-NC 2.0


Teaching and Learning Building
University of Birmingham
Birmingham, B15 2TT
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