About this Research Topic
The advent of gene editing and the development of applications for dsRNAi (eg Spray-Induced and Host-induced gene silencing) has reinvigorated the field of agricultural biotechnology. These breakthrough technologies offer enormous potential, but they will only succeed if there is demonstrated utility and a broad social license for their adoption.
Over 190 million hectares of traditional GMO crops (transgenic crops) (~13% of the global crop production area) were planted worldwide in 2018. Although this clearly indicates a level of success for biotechnology in modern agriculture, only 26 countries have adopted GMO agriculture since it was first commercialized in 1996. Just five countries, the U.S.A., Brazil, Argentina, Canada, and India account for over 90% of the area planted. Likewise, despite the thousands of research articles published over the past 30 years describing gene function, over 90% of the area planted to commercial biotech crops is accounted for by only two traits: herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. It can be argued that rather than a failure of the plant science and breeding communities to develop useful and robust innovations, the uptake of plant biotechnology has been substantially impacted by socio-legal and financial concerns.
There is a clear and urgent need to improve agriculture in response to the expanding global population and the pressures imposed by climate change, diminishing resources, and the impact of agriculture on broader ecosystems.
Although it is already clear that gene editing and other new biotechnologies have the potential to underpin a transformation in agriculture, the experience of the past 25 years suggests that their deployment may be hamstrung by financial, legal, and societal constraints.
In this Research Topic we aim to provide a platform for the development of a clear picture of the role of biotechnology in agriculture in 21st century agriculture and the conditions that will impact its development and adoption.
We welcome the submission of manuscripts related, but not restricted to the following topics:
• New agricultural biotechnologies: current and future
• The regulation of agricultural biotechnologies
• Consumer perceptions and attitudes towards biotechnologies
• Impacts, advantages and innovations in agricultural biotechnology
• The environmental implications of agricultural biotechnology
Keywords: Genome Editing, dsRNAi, Crop biotechnology, GMO, Consumer perception and attitudes
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.