The current trajectory for crop yields is insufficient to nourish the world’s population by 20501. Greater and more consistent crop production must be achieved against a backdrop of climatic stress that limits yields, owing to shifts in pests and pathogens, precipitation, heat-waves and other weather extremes. Here we consider the potential of plant sciences to address post-Green Revolution challenges in agriculture and explore emerging strategies for enhancing sustainable crop production and resilience in a changing climate. Accelerated crop improvement must leverage naturally evolved traits and transformative engineering driven by mechanistic understanding, to yield the resilient production systems that are needed to ensure future harvests.
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