Growing beyond: Designing plants to serve human and environmental interests
Plant synthetic biology provides a pathway toward the design and construction of sustainable systems for life on earth. Traditional plant selection and breeding techniques have long enabled people to modify and enhance plant traits for human uses. However, these techniques are limited to traits that already exist in plants. Synthetic biology allows us to break free of this constraint and develop plants with entirely novel traits and redesigned biochemical pathways. Further, evolution itself provides a tool for the development of new and enhanced traits. While a plant's multicellular nature and long lifespan present challenges to synthetic biology research, the unique value of plant synthetic biology as a pathway toward sustainable systems outweighs the challenges. Read the full article here.