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Decadal Vision

decadalUnleashing a Decade of Innovation in Plant Science, A Vision for 2015–2025


  1. Increase the ability to predict plant traits from genomes in diverse environments
  2. Discover, catalog, and utilize plant-derived chemicals
  3. Assemble plant traits in different ways to solve problems
  4. Enhance the ability to find answers in a torrent of data (sharing, format, patterns, and meaning)
  5. Create a “T-training” environment for plant science doctoral students

On December 3 in Washington, DC, BTI President David Stern unleashed the Decadal Vision. David and co-organizer Sally Mackenzie, professor of Agronomy and Horticulture at University of NebraskaLincoln were joined by Toni Kutchan, Vice President of Research at the Danforth Plant Science Center, who discussed  biodiversity, plant chemistry, and bio-based products, including medicines. Pat Schnable, Professor of Agronomy at Iowa State University, regarding  bioinformatics/big data, discussed how the Decadal Vision relates to commodities, as well as teaching us the difference between “genotype” and “phenotype.”

Next steps will be a congressional briefing in early 2014 and a session at the AAAS annual “Forum on Science and Technology Policy” in the spring of 2014.

In September 2011, the American Society of Plant Biologists—with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)—held a Plant Science Research Summit at HHMI. Some 140 stakeholders responded to calls to action from the White House, which recognizes the key role that plant science has to play in the nation’s intellectual and economic future, especially to provide food, energy, and medicine for world populations contending with dwindling natural resources and climate change.

For more information on the Vision for a Decade of Innovation in Plant Science, 20152025, please contact the office of BTI President David Stern, Boyce Thompson Institute, 533 Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853,, phone: (607) 254-1306.