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Plant Biotechnology, Ghent University

The global demand for plant-derived products such as feed and food is increasing dramatically, as illustrated by the recent doubling of the price of most commodity crops. How can we deal with these exponentially growing demands for food, feed and bio-energy? How can we cope with the fact that we will have to produce more food on less arable land, under environmentally more challenging conditions? These are just a few questions to be solved by the modern plant biotechnology.

In the next decades, the world market for plant-derived products is expected to grow exponentially. Not only do we rely on plants to feed the growing world population, but plants will also play a pivotal role in providing a significant portion of our energy needs, and in fulfilling our demand for renewable industrial resources. It is expected that (bio-)technological advances will further boost crop productivity and quality in a wider range of applications. In addition, new technologies will make it possible to develop agricultural practices in better harmony with the natural environment.
The Plant Systems Biology Lab wants to significantly contribute to solving the above-described grand challenges by laying the scientific foundation for innovations and by enabling that such innovations find their way to society at large. They work across five topics: sustainable bio-energy, climate adapted crops, plant diversity, innovative crop care, and plants and human health.

The group has a long standing tradition of converting basic plant science into successful industrial entities: Plant Genetics Systems (now Bayer Cropsciences), CropDesign (now BASF Plant Sciences), Devgen and more recently Solucel. Today, these companies together with our plant research center form the largest European Plant Biotechnology campus.



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