The roots of a new green revolution

Trends Plant Sci. 2010 Nov;15(11):600-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2010.08.009. Epub 2010 Sep 17.


A significant increase in shoot biomass and seed yield has always been the dream of plant biologists who wish to dedicate their fundamental research to the benefit of mankind; the first green revolution about half a century ago represented a crucial step towards contemporary agriculture and the development of high-yield varieties of cereal grains. Although there has been a steady rise in our food production from then onwards, the currently applied technology and the available crop plants will not be sufficient to feed the rapidly growing world population. In this opinion article, we highlight several below-ground characteristics of plants such as root architecture, nutrient uptake and nitrogen fixation as promising features enabling a very much needed new green revolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / methods*
  • Biomass
  • Food Supply
  • Nitrogen Fixation
  • Plant Development*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development*
  • Plants / classification