Welcome from Dale Sanders; Summer 2018

Issue #29; Summer 2018

Occasionally, a scientific breakthrough will radically change the way the scientists work, or affect how they approach and think about a problem or concept.

The invention of the microscope in the 17th century is a classic example of a technology that revolutionised the scientific endeavour at the time. The publication of the wheat genome in 2014 has proven to be a turning point in the way scientists work with this notoriously complex crop plant.

In this issue, we explore some of the breakthroughs that have followed this publication and consider the future of wheat as a food source. We delve into the ongoing revolution in glasshouse and growth room technologies. The speed breeding platform, co-developed by Dr Brande Wul­ff and colleagues in Australia, deserves attention. The platform provides an opportunity to grow plants more quickly, enabling a wide range of crops to be cycled in record time, which in turn accelerates the impact of our research.

Technologies like this, combined with the complete sequenced genomes of crops, and other exciting new technologies designed to visualise and monitor plants as they grow, help us to understand the fundamental links between the codes of life, DNA and what a plant looks like out in the field.

We have an opinion piece from Professor Cathie Martin, where she reflects on recent conversations about the importance of plants in our diets and we congratulate Professor Martin on her recent election to Fellow of the Royal Society

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