To feed the world, food production has to be increased by about 50 percent until the year 2050. Although European and American countries can reach these aims by technological advances, many countries in dry and hot zones already chronically lack the production of enough food for their own populations and depend on imports and foreign aid. Considering that harvest losses by drought, salt and heat stresses amount to approximately 60 percent of total productivity, improvement of abiotic stress tolerance is the main aim in crop improvement in the world. Since plants have colonized land, they have evolved mechanisms to respond to changing environmental conditions and settle in extreme habitats.
Darwin21 is an establishment of a global knowledge base of desert rhizosphere microbes and their use in re-establishing sustainable agricultural systems in arid lands. A worldwide network of desert researchers will be established to build the first world heritage stock center for desert microbes. Using the latest genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics methods, a first worldwide accessible molecular database on rhizosphere microbial genomes and their gene functions will be created. By bioinformatic and functional analysis of the isolated microbes, new metabolic pathways will be identified and analyzed for their uses in medicine and chemical and synthetic engineering.
To learn more, visit darwin21.net/.