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Plant Cell. 2012 Feb;24(2):374-94. doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.093302. Epub 2012 Feb 24.

New technologies for 21st century plant science.

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  • 1Department of Plant Biology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, California 94305, USA.

Abstract

Plants are one of the most fascinating and important groups of organisms living on Earth. They serve as the conduit of energy into the biosphere, provide food, and shape our environment. If we want to make headway in understanding how these essential organisms function and build the foundation for a more sustainable future, then we need to apply the most advanced technologies available to the study of plant life. In 2009, a committee of the National Academy highlighted the "understanding of plant growth" as one of the big challenges for society and part of a new era which they termed "new biology." The aim of this article is to identify how new technologies can and will transform plant science to address the challenges of new biology. We assess where we stand today regarding current technologies, with an emphasis on molecular and imaging technologies, and we try to address questions about where we may go in the future and whether we can get an idea of what is at and beyond the horizon.

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