My name's Mark Tester, and I've been
asked to talk about the genetics
of abiotic stress tolerance.
I work primarily on
so the focus will be on that.
However, of course, I'll try to
allow people to think more broadly
and to consider how the work that
we're doing on salinity tolerance
could be applied to studies on
drought tolerance, low temperature
and all those other abiotic
stresses that impinge
on the plant's daily life.
The context for a lot of work on
abiotic stress tolerance of plants
is the requirement to
increase food production.
This increase is
required in ways that
are much greater than previously.
In this slide, there's an analysis
of the global cereal production
over the last 50 years, in blue,
and you can see that empirically,
it is observed to be linear,
with an average increase of
about 32 million tons a year.
If we are to meet the FAO's
requirement for an increased food
production of 70% by 2050, we need
to increase this annual increase,
if you're still with me,
from 32 million tons a year
to 44 million tons sustained
over the next 40 years.
That's increasing the rate of
annual increase of food production
that's been going 50 years by 38%.
This is a very, very tall order, and
requires significant innovations.
One of the areas in
which we need to innovate
is to increase yield
we'll discuss on the next slide.