In order for farmers, both in the EU and globally, to provide a sustainable food supply we will need to develop crop varieties with improved characteristics, such as drought tolerance, disease resistance or enhanced nutrient content. To do this we must take advantage of the wide range of techniques available in order to use the right approach for the right circumstance, such as conventional breeding, genetic modification or newer methods like genome editing. BBSRC Chief Executive, Professor Jackie Hunter
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has published a position statement on new and emerging techniques for crop improvement. These novel techniques, which can introduce precise genetic changes into plants, are currently being used in research labs as a tool to help understand the function of genes. Commercial applications are likely to follow: new and improved crop varieties produced with these methods could be available world-wide over the coming years.