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Parra L.,University of California at Davis | Maisonneuve B.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Lebeda A.,Palacky University | Schut J.,Rijk Zwaan | And 6 more authors.

Lettuce downy mildew caused by Bremia lactucae is the most important disease of lettuce worldwide. Breeding for resistance to this disease is a major priority for most lettuce breeding programs. Many genes and factors for resistance to B. lactucae have been reported by multiple researchers over the past ~50 years. Their nomenclature has not been coordinated, resulting in duplications and gaps in nominations. We have reviewed the available information and rationalized it into 51 resistance genes and factors and 15 quantitative trait loci along with supporting documentation as well as genetic and molecular information. This involved multiple rounds of consultation with many of the original authors. This paper provides the foundation for naming additional genes for resistance to B. lactucae in the future as well as for deploying genes to provide more durable resistance. © 2016 The Author(s) Source

Nicholls C.,Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
Outlooks on Pest Management

Controlling weeds within the arable rotation is vital to produce high yields of good quality crops and to prevent the spread of pests and disease. In recent years, weed management has become an increasing challenge for farmers and their agronomists. The number of new commercial herbicides and those with novel modes of action has declined significantly since the 1990s. Lack of new modes of action (it is over 25 years since the last herbicide with a new mode of action was introduced), increasing resistance, fewer active ingredients, decreased pesticide availability due to EU legislation including regulation EC1107/2009, and increasing levels of herbicides in water are all ongoing concerns surrounding weed control. In the absence of new modes of action, the main focus of research over the last 10 years has been on the optimisation of existing herbicides and ensuring their safe use. Due to the concerns outlined above, farmers are adopting a number of methods of non-chemical control to form more integrated control strategies. Research is now focusing on integrating chemical and cultural control options to tackle weed problems. The three main common areas currently being investigated are the effects of varying seed rate, drilling date and the potential of varietal competitiveness. The recent introduction of herbicide tolerant oilseed rape (Clearfield varieties, BASF) in the UK has also brought an alternative method of weed control to farmers. Areas lacking research are the effectiveness of spring cropping and fallowing as a weed control method and also the understanding of the movement of herbicides through soil into water courses. © 2012 Research Information Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Godfray H.C.J.,University of Oxford | Crute I.R.,Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board | Haddad L.,Institute of Development Studies | Muir J.F.,Syngenta | And 6 more authors.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Although food prices in major world markets are at or near a historical low, there is increasing concern about food security-the ability of the world to provide healthy and environmentally sustainable diets for all its peoples. This article is an introduction to a collection of reviews whose authors were asked to explore the major drivers affecting the food system between now and 2050. A first set of papers explores the main factors affecting the demand for food (population growth, changes in consumption patterns, the effects on the food system of urbanization and the importance of understanding income distributions) with a second examining trends in future food supply (crops, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, and 'wild food'). A third set explores exogenous factors affecting the food system (climate change, competition for water, energy and land, and how agriculture depends on and provides ecosystem services), while the final set explores cross-cutting themes (food system economics, food wastage and links with health). Two of the clearest conclusions that emerge from the collected papers are that major advances in sustainable food production and availability can be achieved with the concerted application of current technologies (given sufficient political will), and the importance of investing in research sooner rather than later to enable the food system to cope with both known and unknown challenges in the coming decades. © 2010 The Royal Society. Source

CRUTE I.R.,Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board | MUIR J.F.,University of Stirling
Journal of Agricultural Science

SUMMARYTo meet the increasing global demand for food that is predicted over the coming decades it will be necessary to increase productivity and to do this in a way that is sustainable and efficient in its use of resources. Productivity is currently determined by the intrinsic genetic potential of the domestic plants and animals on which mankind is dependent as well as by components of the biophysical environment (temperature, water availability and quality, soil fertility, parasites, pathogens, weeds) from which terrestrial or aquatic food production is derived. Within certain limits, it is possible to manipulate plant and animal genotypes, the production environment, and the inevitable interaction between these factors, to relax constraints on productivity and potential output. Looking to the future, increased scientific understanding will undoubtedly permit this manipulation to be achieved more effectively, thus enabling the scale of production to be elevated predictably while reducing reliance on non-renewable inputs and limiting the use of more forest, grassland, wetland or coastal margin. The present paper introduces a collection of reviews that were commissioned as part of the UK's Government Office of Science Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures which reports early in 2011. The reviews explore opportunities for advances in science and technology to impact in coming decades on the sustainable productivity of terrestrial and aquatic food production systems. Collectively, they describe many of the approaches currently being considered to define, remove or relax the different genetic or environmental constraints limiting sustainable food production. These include: potential impacts of climate change on aquatic systems, the application of biotechnology, genetics and the development of systems to improve livestock, fish and crop production; approaches to the management of parasites and pathogens; weed control in crops; management of soil fertility; approaches to countering problems of water shortage; reducing post-harvest wastage; the role of advanced engineering and the potential for increasing food production in urban environments. Source

Godfray H.C.J.,University of Oxford | Beddington J.R.,U.K. Government Office for Science | Crute I.R.,Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board | Haddad L.,Institute of Development Studies | And 6 more authors.

Continuing population and consumption growth will mean that the global demand for food will increase for at least another 40 years. Growing competition for land, water, and energy, in addition to the overexploitation of fisheries, will affect our ability to produce food, as will the urgent requirement to reduce the impact of the food system on the environment. The effects of climate change are a further threat. But the world can produce more food and can ensure that it is used more efficiently and equitably. A multifaceted and linked global strategy is needed to ensure sustainable and equitable food security, different components of which are explored here. © 2010 American Association for the Advancement for Science. All Rights Reserved. Source

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