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Innovations for sustainable intensification of agricultural production: knowledge intensive routes to doubling yields and reducing inputs Millennium Address.

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Presentation on theme: "Innovations for sustainable intensification of agricultural production: knowledge intensive routes to doubling yields and reducing inputs Millennium Address."— Presentation transcript:

1 Innovations for sustainable intensification of agricultural production: knowledge intensive routes to doubling yields and reducing inputs Millennium Address Professor John A. Pickett CBE, DSc, FRS

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3 Monitoring and Intervention Strategies for Bluetongue Virus Epidemics in Rural India Haryana Agricultural College (India), Institute of Animal Health, Rothamsted Research, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, University of Oxford Funding initiative: Combating Infectious Diseases of Livestock for International Development (CIDLID) Agriculture is vital for the livelihoods of 75% of the worlds poor Food demand is predicted to increase by 50% by 2030 £13M+ investment from BBSRC and DFID, with contributions from the Scottish Government India Bluetongue Vector Network Funded by DFID, BBSRC and the Scottish Government Part of the All India Network Program on Bluetongue

4 Dr PADMAJA, P.G. Directorate of Sorghum Research, Hyderabad Dr JAYANTHI, P.D.K Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore Atherigona soccata Bactrocera dorsalis

5 Borlaug said genetic engineering (a term he prefers to GMOs) was the only technology that must be embraced by countries whose food supply is threatened by the inequalities of the world. Citing the examples of China and Brazil where cereal production has gone up more than two-fold making the former the current world's leading cereal producer, he said biotechnology was the surest existing way to ensure food security in Africa and other developing countries. Maize, if given the right push, he noted, will sufficiently feed Sub- Saharan Africa. We need sophisticated scientific technology to boost our production. Norman Borlaug Blasts GMO Doomsayers June 7, 2000 (1999)

6 Rothamsted Research Strategic Theme, 20:20 Wheat The goal of this theme is to generate the necessary science and technology for the development of wheat germplasm and agronomic practices which are capable of yielding 20 tonnes of wheat per hectare in 20 years time. Wheat currently provides over 20% of the world's calories for human consumption, and further pressure on wheat production and its eventual price as a commodity may also result from demands for bioenergy. The current average farm yield of wheat in the UK is only 8.4 tonnes per ha and since 1980 wheat yields have only increased by about one-third, whereas maize yields have increased by more than 50%. Currently annual incremental gains for wheat are small, just 0.1 tonnes of wheat per hectare per year. Building on the expertise at Rothamsted Research, this strategic theme will be delivered through four programmes 1. Maximizing yield potential 2. Protecting yield potential 3. Determining soil resource interactions 4. Using systems approaches to crop improvement Winter wheat long-term experiment, 1843 present Current varieties only take up about 80% of applied N (less at higher N applications), with N harvest indices of 80-90%. Unless these efficiencies can be improved, the N fertiliser requirement for 20 tonne wheat would be kg N per ha. (Peter Shewry, unpub.)

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8 E.g. Possible changes to arable crop yields by 2050 By 2050 the CO 2 is likely to be 550 ppm and FACE experiments show that this will increase the yields of C3 crops…. but not C4 species The O 3 level is likely to increase to 60 ppb…. This will reduce yields…. Soybean yield change 2050: CO 2 +15%, O 3 -12% Wheat yield change 2050: CO 2 +15%, O 3 -9% Jaggard et al. (2010)

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10 Smallholders agriculture The research focus should be to evolve technologies and management options to suit the needs of smallholders agriculture… Even more important for Africa

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12 Current highly effective pesticides are derived from natural product leads and, for some, are natural products themselves InsecticideTarget Natural product lead pyrethroidsodium channel/activators pyrethrin I indoxacarb/sodium channel/blockers x metaflumizone organophosphate/acetylcholinesterase/inhibitors x carbamate physostigmine neonicotinoidnAChR nicotine/epibatidine spinosadnAChR spinosyns cyclodiene/chloride channel/gaba x fiproles abamectinchloride channel/glutamate avermectins diamidecalcium release channel (muscle) (ryanodine) tetronic acidacetyl CoA carboxylase/inhibitor x

13 pyrethroids

14 Tanacetum cinariifolium pyrethrin I

15 biotechnological production synthetic pesticides from plants by extraction released directly by plants pathways transferred to crop plants (GM) Plant biodiversity lead compounds new industrial crops

16 Intrinsic rate of population increase of the cereal aphid Rhopalosiphum padi on diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid wheat (hydroxamic acids, active against aphids and other pests and diseases, are present but only effective in ancestral species) diploidtetraploidhexaploid

17 It is time now, in planning the new generation of GMOs for delivery of pest control, to target the natural products that, acting by non-toxic modes of action, affect, in more sophisticated ways, behavioural and developmental processes in the pest organisms. Such natural products are exemplified as insect pheromones and other semiochemicals, i.e. those chemicals that affect development or behaviour of organisms generally (and will include switching on genes for the biosynthesis of semiochemicals by means of another set of natural products that act as plant activators).

18 Aphid alarm pheromone

19 Beale et al. (2006), PNAS 103: 10509

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23 Aphids are repelled by volatiles from GM wheat P = P < GM wheat Control wheat GM wheat Control wheat

24 Parasitoid wasps spend longer foraging on GM wheat * GM wheat Control wheat

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26 GM TRIAL TO REDUCE AGROCHEMICALS A field trial of GM potatoes is being planted to test whether genes from wild relatives can successfully protect commercial potato varieties from late blight – the disease that caused the Irish potato famine – without the need to spray fungicides. British farmers spray, on average, 15 times a year to protect against potato late blight.

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28 A new pest problem for wheat: the orange wheat blossom midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana Construct decision support system for monitoring and control Monitor Fire-fight with pesticides Improve monitoring technology Develop resistant varieties Control by smart sensing systems

29 Monitoring numbers of male midges Pheromone traps set at crop height Two traps per field Assess every other day during susceptible period Assessments over four seasons and four sites Assess midge infestation by dissecting ears

30 Commercial decision support

31 Smart sensing systems: for example, smart plants detect pest attack (even egg-laying), repel new pests and call in parasitic wasps to attack eggs and larvae Smart signal (Small Lipophilic Molecule) transferred from eggs to plant Induced pest resistance Tamiru et al. (2011), Ecol. Lett. 14: 1083

32 Signal SLMs used to switch on defence For example, in wheat:

33 Signal SLM

34 Bruce et al. (2008), PNAS 105: 4553 Matthes et al. (2011), Plant Sig. & Behav. 6: 1

35 (with M. Borges, C. Moraes & C.B. Hoffman-Campo, EMBRAPA, Brazil)

36 (with E. Santana, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Brazil; E. Bleicher, Universidade Federal de Ceara, Brazil)

37 Smart sensing to optimise farm inputs: sensitive sentinel plants detect problem, not just pests, diseases and weed competition but also drought, depleted or excess nutrients and water, and signal to main crop of smart plants, with natural response to signal SLMs linked to gene expression (by GM) to deal with problem (or opportunity) Sentinel plant Main crop

38 Smart sensing to optimise farm inputs: sensitive sentinel plants detect problem, not just pests, diseases and weed competition but also drought, depleted or excess nutrients and water, and signal to main crop of smart plants, with natural response to signal SLMs linked to gene expression (by GM) to deal with problem (or opportunity) Response to problem Problem detected Sentinel plant Main crop

39 Phakopsora pachyrhizi (soybean rust) (with EMBRAPA, Brazil) Destruction of global soybean crop?

40 Broader opportunities: delivery by the seed Suppression of methane production by ruminants Interference with N 2 0 release from fertilized soils CH 4

41 Total maize area in SSA25,375,000 ha Estimated loss due to stemborers 15% Value of maize in SSA US$ 10b Maize lost due to stemborers US$ 1.5b

42 Total maize area in SSA25,375,000 ha Total maize area with striga 6,122,000 ha % SSA area infested with striga 24% Value of maize in SSAUS$ 10 b Value of maize lost due to strigaUS$ 1.2 b

43 Push-Pull or Stimulo-Deterrent Diversionary Strategy (Vuta Sukuma) Desmodium intercrop Cook et al. (2007), Ann. Rev. Ent. 52: 375

44 Bruce et al. (2008), PNAS 105: 4553 Khan et al. (1997), Nature 388: 631 Moraes et al. (2008), Phytochem. 69: 9 Hydroxamic acids

45 Professor Zeyaur Khan and smallholders Bruce et al. (2010), Biol. Lett. 6: 314 Tamiru et al. (2011), Ecol. Lett. 14: 1083

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49 Effects of nitrogen, shade and Desmodium uncinatum on maize yield (difference a, b, c, d: P < 0.05) a a b c cd d a b ab c d d

50 The most inhibitory chemistry and proposed biosynthesis by C-glycosylation (with R. Edwards, Durham University) Hassanali et al. (2008), Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. B 363: 611

51 Hooper et al. (2009), Pest Man. Sci. 65: 546 Pickett et al. (2010), Ann. Rev. Phytopath. 48: 161 Khan et al. (2010), J. Exp. Bot. 61: 4185

52 Adoption of push-pull technology in western Kenya, Khan et al. (2009), Crop Prot. 28: 997 Khan et al. (2011), Int. J. Ag. Sus. 9: 162 Murage et al. (2011), Crop Prot. 30: 531 Murage et al. (2011), Int. J. Pest Man. 57: 133

53 Allelopathic control of weeds via the rhizosphere

54 Perennial crops Perennial wheat Perennial rice (Oryza sativa/O. longistaminata) Food Crops Research Institute, Kunming Beijing Genetics Institute, Shengzhen Washington State University, Pullman

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56 Smallholders agriculture The research focus should be to evolve technologies and management options to suit the needs of smallholders agriculture…


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