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Application of Proteomics in Agricultural Biotechnology

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Agricultural Biotechnology is defined as the application of conventional and artificial methods to manipulate the genetics of plants and animals in order to accelerate improvement of desired characteristics. Domesticated plants, commonly known as “crops” are a major part of primary agricultural products, ...

Agricultural Biotechnology is defined as the application of conventional and artificial methods to manipulate the genetics of plants and animals in order to accelerate improvement of desired characteristics. Domesticated plants, commonly known as “crops” are a major part of primary agricultural products, which are generally used for food, animal feed, biofuels, fibre and building materials. In addition to these, some cultivated plants are farmed and processed for medicinal purposes. Crops therefore, remain the main artery for the survival, productivity, growth and development of the world’s food, health and economic systems. As such crops are a central pillar of the modern bioeconomy – a known key driver of future sustainability. In Europe, for example, the knowledge-based bioeconomy has an estimated worth of more than 2 trillion Euros, an industry that supports more than 21 million families. Agriculture, a cornerstone of human survival and development in less industrialised countries, with the majority of the developing world’s human populations dependent exclusively on subsistence farming.

Proteomics, which is generally defined as the simultaneous and high throughput study of protein expression profiles in cells, tissues, organs and organisms, is now recognised as one of the most important tools used in the identification and characterisation of proteins and genes of interest. Proteomics is normally used to monitor proteome profiles and expression trends, linking these towards the understanding of molecular mechanisms associated with endogenous and exogenous cues. Current challenges, which include exponential human population growth, particularly in the developing world, and the effects of global climate change are imposing severe limits on the sustainability of agricultural crop production. Given their critical role as the primary producers in terrestrial food chains, plants therefore deserve better scientific research attention than the current trends.

Compared to mammalian, and microbial studies, the application of proteomics in plant scientific research is still in its infancy. Additionally, recent advances in proteomics and related applications, present a need for focused research and development in the field of agricultural proteomics. For the reasons stated here, and many others, Frontiers in Plant Proteomics is inviting scientific papers (Original Research, Methods, Reviews and others), reporting and highlighting recent trends in the application of proteomics in plant and crop biotechnology research.


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