Agroforestry biotechnology for sustainable agriculture on marginal lands

Sang-Soo Kwak


The dramatic increase in the global population combined with rapid industrialization in developing countries has placed great strains on global food and energy supplies. The UN-FAO estimated that the world population will exceed 9.7 billion in 2050. If we use energy and food at the present rate, we will need more than 3.5-times the current energy supply and 1.7-times the current food supply in 2050. To cope with these global crises in food and energy supply as well as environmental problems, the development of new eco-friendly industrial plant varieties for growth on marginal lands is urgently needed to ensure sustainable development. Plant biotechnology can be used as a tool to maximize plant productivity by introducing stress tolerance genes and metabolic genes responsible for increasing yield and improving functions. In the presentation, recent results on transgenic plants (sweetpotato, alfalfa and poplar) with enhanced tolerance to abiotic stresses are introduced. Sweetpotato represents an attractive crop that can be used to help solve the global food and environmental problems as an industrial bioreactor. Alfalfa is one of important legume forage crops on the global marginal lands. Poplar trees provide raw materials, help maintain biodiversity, protect land and water resources, and help mitigate the effect of climate change on global marginal lands.

Ключевые слова

Sustainable agriculture; agroforestry biotechnology; food security; abiotic stress; sweetpotato; alfalfa; poplar

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Ji CY, Jin R, Xu Zhen, Kim HS, Lee CJ, Kang L, Kim SE, Lee HU, Lee JS, Kang CH, Chi YH, Lee SY, Xie YP, Li HM, Ma DF, Kwak SS (2017) Overexpression of Arabidopsis P3B increases heat and low temperature stress tolerance in transgenic sweetpotato. BMC Plant Biology 17: 139 (1–11).

Kang L, Kim HS, Kwon YS, Ke Q, Ji CY, Park SC, Lee HS, Deng XP, Kwak SS (2017) IbOr regulates photosynthesis under heat stress by stabilizing IbPsbP in sweetpotato. Frontiers in Plant Science 8(989): 1–13.

Ke Q, Wang Z, Kim HS, Wang Z, Ji CY, Jeong JC, Lee HS, Choi YM, Xu BC, Deng XP, Yun DJ, Kwak SS. (2017) Down-regulation of GI- GANTEA-like genes increase plant growth and salt stress tolerance in poplar. Plant Biotechnology J 15: 331–343.

Kim HS, Ji CY, Lee CJ, Kim SE, Park SC, Kwak SS (2018) Orange: a target gene for regulating carotenoid homeostasis and increasing plant tolerance to environmental stress in marginal lands. J Experimental Botany 69: 3393–3400.

Kim KY, Kwon SY, Lee HS, Hur YK, Bang JW, Kwak SS (2003) A novel oxidative stress-inducible peroxidase promoter from sweet potato: molecular cloning and characterization in transgenic tobacco plants and cultured cells. Plant Molecular Biology 51: 831–838.

Kim YH, Kim MD, Choi YI, Park SC, Yun DJ, Noh EW, Lee HS, Kwak SS (2011) Transgenic poplar expressing Arabidopsis NDPK2 enhances growth as well as oxidative stress tolerance. Plant Biotechnology J 9: 334–347.

Park SC, Kim SH, Park SY, Lee HU, Lee JS, Bae JY, Ahn MJ, Kim YH, Jeong JC, Lee HS, Kwak SS (2015) Enhanced accumulation of carotenoids in sweetpotato plants overexpressing IbOr-Ins gene in purple-fleshed sweetpotato cultivar. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 86: 82–90.

Park SY, Kim HS, Jung YJ, Kim SH, Ji CY, Wang Z, Jeong JC, Lee HS, Lee SY, Kwak SS (2016) Orange protein has a role in phytoene synthase stabilization in sweetpotato. Scientific Reports 6: 33563 (1–12).

Wang Z, Ke Q, Kim MD, Kim SH, Ji CY, Jeong JC, Lee HS, Park WS, Ahn MJ, Li H, Xu B, Deng X, Lee SH, Lim YP, Kwak SS (2015) Transgenic alfalfa plants expressing the sweetpotato Orange gene exhibit enhanced abiotic stress tolerance. PLOS ONE e0126050.


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