In a continuous struggle to reduce hunger and poverty, Brazil has surveyed geographically the incidence of both parameters recently. On the basis of per capita income, There are More than half In some rural areas of the Northeast the poverty average is twice the national average We have gradually succeeded in reducing child mortality by prevention during the last decades, but funds to be applied to social programs to reduce hunger have increased.
In order to reduce the gradual and consistent increase of hunger and the cost of social programs it is imperative to apply, in parallel to social programs, long-term strategies to build human survival capacity through jobs. We have learned that agriculture is the most suitable instrument to fulfill these goals, and last year the Semi-Arid National Institute INSA was created in Brazil to develop and apply available agricultural technologies, including the advances of the gene revolution, to reduce hunger in this region.
Under this program, selected science and technology projects are being funded. We are confident that these instruments now available can facilitate the extension of the results obtained in Brazil to the agriculture of the world's poorest populations of Africa.
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It should not be overlooked, though, that the ability of developing countries to benefit from the gene revolution requires the organization of the agricultural sector. Brazil tripled its grains production during the last four decades but this was a long-term effort. First, geneticists learned gradually how to breed plants for the tropics and then a law to regulate the commercialization of seeds was enacted forty years ago.
Finally, foundation seed programs allowed the consolidation of a seed industry to transfer the work of the geneticists to farmers. In anticipation of the gene revolution, since the seventies, consistent investments in the training of human resources were made in Brazil in the areas of plant cell, molecular and developmental biology and genome analysis to offer the advances of biology to plant breeders. A strategy to transmit the advances of biological science to other developing countries, particularly to some of the poorest African countries, calls for strengthening the cooperation between the best plant geneticists from these countries to team up with the best plant geneticists in Brazil in order to produce adapted cultivars of a few grains and staple crops for the semiarid regions.
To base this strategy on a single staple crop as proposed recently 46 would be too risky. The world had to replace all corn hybrids because an inbred line common to all of them was susceptible to a fungus. This cooperation is essential to properly design the additional activities to be implemented in the agricultural sector, and will add to the capacity building of academics in Africa, a goal to be achieved by gradually making available the most advanced biological tools being used in Brazil, e.
The best plant genetics for semiarid regions, incorporated into foundation seed programs, will yield certified seeds.
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This paper is a general, summarized description of the strategy and derived basic outputs needed for modern science to have an impact on the agriculture of the poorest countries as a long-term effort aimed at reducing hunger and child mortality, as described below. We mentioned that the initiative described can be facilitated by the INSA established in Brazil last year in order to apply the advances of the gene revolution to reduce hunger in this region.
No new laboratories will be built. This science and technology Program created in was adopted within the portfolio of programs of the Ministry of Science and Technology - MCT in Brazil. These funds will be available in for projects focusing on plants resistant to drought, pests and soil aluminum toxicity, which affect more than half of tropical soils.
Additional funds will come from an instrument included in the National Biosafety Legislation under review in Congress , which established a fund for biotechnology projects intended for products of public interest. It is conceivable that this principle could be negotiated internationally. These financial resources will support and strengthen several ongoing activities in Brazil which have goals related to those mentioned above.
Genes available in Brazil were expressed in plant genotypes adapted to tropical agricultural conditions and are ready to be backcrossed into genomes adapted to the semiarid regions. In fact, some plant cultivars such as dry beans resistant to Golden mosaic virus and potato cultivars resistant to viruses are ready to be released as proofs of concept, pending biosafety analysis, field testing and, eventually, IPR negotiations. Other functionally characterized genes will result from the support to projects concerning the rice genome, nematodes and insect resistance and nitrogen fixation by grasses also in progress in Brazil.
The development of grasses capable of fixing N 2 from the air 47 is the most important agricultural project supporting the growing demand for food that will result from the demographic pressure on agriculture production The availability of oil-derived urea, which pollutes the soil and the water, will severely restrict grain production worldwide in the decades to come Functional characterization of genes must elucidate important mechanisms to neutralize pathogen activity in plants for disease and pest resistance and to avoid environmental stress.
Advantage will be taken of the scientific developments obtained with arabidopsis 50 , tobacco 51 , rice 52,53 , and C. Finally, genes could also come from the large private sector companies after the public announcement of their willingness to share their technology free of charge with African scientists who are working with small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, precisely in the same areas as mentioned above. However, the most important strategy for developing countries in order to identify and characterize the genes needed for their breeding programs is to deal with biology in a convergent way to compensate for the reduced number of scientists working in molecular biology.
Technically this is also recommended because the functional analysis of genomes shows the obvious possibility to use genes from organisms very distant phylogenetically to find their relatives in plants or animals performing the same functions. As an example, Kono's team in Japan 58 demonstrated that Igf2 is an essential gene for embryo growth and development and is only turned on in the sperm. Another gene, called H19 , turns off the Igf2 gene in eggs.
The scientists removed the "off switch" H19 , allowing the Igf2 gene to turn on, and produced parthenogenesis in mice. The counterpart of parthenogenesis in plants is apomixis, a natural phenomenon particularly in grasses and citrus plants. The molecular basis of this phenomenon in plants has not been fully elucidated but this goal could benefit from findings obtained with mice, such as the introduction of apomixis in plants when advantageous for breeding programs.
Finally, it is absolutely necessary to build aggregate value into the crops of poor countries.
Several examples indicate that plants can become important protein expression systems for molecules of high intrinsic value such as pharmaceuticals. This will only happen if these crops express special protein molecules, as already demonstrated Bologna, Italy, May 27 to Proceedings in press. The plant revolution.
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The C. Gustafson P Aluminum tolerance in small grain cereals. Bologna, Italy, May Birth of parthenogenetic mice that can develop to adulthood. Nature , Correspondence and Footnotes. Address for correspondence: L. Kazi, Steven S. Xu, Nick Gosman, Evans S. Lagudah, David Bonnett, Mark E. Sorrells, and Hisashi Tsujimoto.
Badu-Apraku and M. Breeding Loquat Maria L. Liang, and Weixing Wang. Undetected country. NO YES. Plant Breeding Reviews, Volume Selected type: Hardcover. Added to Your Shopping Cart. Plant Breeding Reviews presents state-of-the-art reviews on plant genetics and the breeding of all types of crops by both traditional means and molecular methods. Many of the crops widely grown today stem from a very narrow genetic base; understanding and preserving crop genetic resources is vital to the security of food systems worldwide.
The emphasis of the series is on methodology, a fundamental understanding of crop genetics, and applications to major crops. It is a serial title that appears in the form of one or two volumes per year. Permissions Request permission to reuse content from this site. Table of contents Contributors ix 1. John Raupp and Bernd Friebe I. Research 4 III. International Collaborations 23 IV.
Educator 24 V. Champion of WheatWorkers 27 VI. The Man 27 VII.