by Jacob Weiner | University of Copenhagen
Evolutionary theory can be applied to improve agricultural yields and/or sustainability. The basic idea is that it is very unlikely that plant breeding or genetic engineering can improve attributes already favoured by millions of years of natural selection, but there may be unutilized potential in selecting for attributes that increase total crop yield but reduce plants' individual fitness. In other words, plant breeding should be based on group, not individual, selection. In this seminar, I present the theoretical evolutionary and agronomic background for this approach, show recent results testing the core hypothesis, and discuss the potential mechanisms and implications for plant breeding.
(followed by a discussion and interview session with the speaker for PhD-students)