Improving crops with genomics and bioinformatics

The global population is predicted to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, while at the same time, food production will become more challenging due to climate change. A new agricultural revolution is required to meet this demand for food security. Advances in genomics and applied bioinformatics offer the potential to accelerate the crop breeding cycle, however there is a limitation in our ability to manage, interrogate and apply the flood of date being generated by new technologies. I will describe how these technologies are being applied to understand crop genome diversity and revolutionise the breeding of improved plant varieties, with greater yield and improved tolerance to the impacts of climate change.

Dave Edwards

Professor Dave Edwards

The University of Western Australia

Professor Edwards gained an Honours degree in agriculture from the University of Nottingham and a PhD from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge. He has held positions within academia (Universities of Adelaide and Queensland, Australia; University of Cambridge, UK; and McGill University, Canada), government (Long Ashton Research Centre, UK, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia) and industry (ICI seeds, UK). In 2007 he moved to The University of Queensland, Australia as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 2012. In January 2015 he moved his research group to the University of Western Australia as Professor in Plant Genomics. His research interests include the structure and expression of plant genomes, the discovery and application of genome variation and applied bioinformatics, with a focus on crop plants and accelerating crop improvement in the face of climate change.

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