“Leveraging the value of genomic information”
European agriculture is coined by the needs for increased sustainability, supply of protein for animal feed, adaptation to global change and increased yields to ensure food security. Plant genetics offers a wealth of innovative approaches to address any of these issues. The adaptation of crop plants to the needs of farmers and the end users has been the driving force of crop plant improvement from the very beginning of domestication. Today, environmental issues and societal preferences represent additional challenges. The future improvement of crop plants rests on three pillars:
(i) the ability to valorize allelic diversity to introduce novel genetic variation,
(ii) advances in breeding methodology that allow for improved selection and the exploitation of heterosis as well as
(iii) advances in biotechnology for trait introgression and accelerated breeding cycles.
In all these areas, the availability of genomic information is considered to be of key importance to drive the genetic improvement of crop plants. Against this backdrop the upcoming German Plant Breeding Conference will highlight the impact of genomics information and novel technologies on plant breeding by lining up outstanding keynote speakers and a wide spectrum of lectures to review recent progress regarding the analysis of crop plant genomes with regard to the conservation of plant genetic resources, the identification and functional characterization of genes and the development of enabling technologies. In addition, the conference will provide a platform for both scientists and plant breeders to learn about and discuss recent developments and to forecast future trajectories of innovation.