From bench to bountiful harvest … MASC roadmap summarised in current Plant Cell Paper

Highlighted article: Lavagi I., Estelle M., Weckwerth W., Beynon J., and Bastow R. (2012) From Bench to Bountiful Harvests: A Road Map for the Next Decade of Arabidopsis Research. Plant Cell Advance Online Publication.

The Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee (MASC), as you might expect from their title, is an international group of Arabidopsis researchers who steer research in a productive direction. MASC reduces redundancy in research and encourages collaborations.  Over the last 20 years, MASC has neatly guided the Arabidopsis community to achievements in genome sequencing, understanding of plant hormones, development of open access bioinformatics resources and much more. Now MASC has planned a roadmap for the next ten years of Arabidopsis research entitled From Bench to Bountiful Harvest.

The roadmap consists of five broad objectives:

  1. Build a predictive model of an Arabidopsis plant from its molecular parts. The A. thaliana genome is one of the most comprehensively annotated genomes in the whole of genomics research. The next step is to link experimental data with bioinformatics to build accurate predictions of gene, protein and pathway interactions.
  2. Build the IAIC, and an international informatics and data infrastructure. The International Arabidopsis Informatics Consortium manage a ‘globally distributed system of data and resources.’
  3. Exploit the wealth of natural variation that exists in Arabidopsis to further our understanding of adaptation and evolution. Developing genomic data and phenotyping platforms will allow links between phenotype and genotype to be further understood and used practically.
  4. Establish an effective pipeline from the laboratory to the field and vice versa. Build relationships with groups representing research into key crop species, so that the fundamental research done on Arabidopsis flow easily into the improvement of commercial crops.
  5. Deepen international cooperation and coordination.
Teaching resources
A short film from the BBC (via SAPS) on increasing crop yield, and a careers resource on developing new food products for supermarkets.

No Comments - Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Welcome , today is Sunday, June 16, 2024