Strategic research, education and policy goals for seed science and crop improvement

Jamie K. Miller, Eliot M. Herman, Molly Jahn, Kent J. Bradford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Genetically improved varieties and their delivery through high quality seeds have been essential contributors to yield increases that have allowed crop production to keep pace with population growth. However, as global population continues to expand and economies improve, crop production will need to double again by 2050 to meet demand. To do this without markedly expanding cultivated area will require new breakthroughs in plant breeding. This article, based upon a consensus developed at a broadly based American Seed Research Summit in 2008, identifies critical research topics, educational priorities and policy issues that were considered essential to this effort. Research targets focus on germplasm conservation and characterization, seed production and quality, fundamental genetic mechanisms, advanced breeding strategies, and knowledge systems to manage data and information to support development of crops with improved resource use efficiency and stress tolerance. A diverse pool of high quality plant breeders and researchers must be educated to carry out this work. An effective and efficient regulatory system should support innovation in variety improvement by balancing risks and benefits. Public-private partnerships are a key component of achieving these goals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-652
Number of pages8
JournalPlant Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Agricultural research
  • Education
  • Plant breeding
  • Seed biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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