LAAS 20
 
27-29 March 2014

Hadath, Lebanon

20th LAAS International Science Conference
    Advanced Research for Better Tomorrow

the Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Sience
Doctoral school of sciences and technology
Lebanese university

Keynote speaker in Food security, Environment, Agriculture

Can agricultural biotechnology mitigate climate change effects and increased demand on food? http://www.edas.info/icon/favorite.gif

Khaled Makkouk

Prof. Khaled Makkouk (Conseil National de Recherche Scientifique CNRS, Lebanon)

 

A global population of 9.1 billion expected in 2050 together with climate change effects of increased temperature, reduced precipitation, increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, reduced productivity of livestock, escalated prevalence of pests and diseases will all impose a challenge on the scientific community to come up with appropriate approaches to cope with the increased demand on food under more stressed conditions. Several biotechnological tools are already in use to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Genetic transformation to produce drought-, heat-, cold-, pest-, and salt-tolerant crops, as well as crops with improved nutritional quality has been increasingly used over the past few decades. In addition, tissue culture techniques (somaclonal variation, double haploid production, embryo rescue…..etc.) are also used to develop new crop varieties with increased yield and tolerance to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses. Many molecular tools at present (e. g. markers assisted selection) proved to be extremely useful to traditional breeding to produce improved crop varieties within shorter periods of time. Moreover, molecular tools are permitting better understanding of existing biodiversity, and deployment of useful traits that exist in wild relatives of crop plants. Furthermore, molecular diagnostic tools are now permitting more accurate and faster identification of crop pests and this helps in better management of these pests and consequently reduce the yield losses they cause to agricultural crops. It should be kept in mind that there is no single solution to the stresses facing food production. However, agricultural biotechnology techniques will play a role as one of several tools available in the fight against climate change effects.

Presenter bio: K. Makkouk received his B. Sc. in Agriculture from Cairo University (1963), his M. Sc. in plant pathology from Louisiana State University (1971) and his Ph. D. degree from Univesity of California at Riverside (1974). Following graduation he served as (i) a researcher with CNRS (1974-1985), (ii) professor of plant pathology (part time), Faculty of Agriculture, AUB (1977-1985), (iii) senior scientist with the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA), Aleppo, Syria (1985-2002), (iv) President of Almanar University, Tripoli, Lebanon (2002-2004), (v) Regional coordinator, Nile Valley and Red Sea Regional Program, ICARDA, Cairo, Egypt (2005-2008). At present, Dr. Makkouk is serving as Advisor for Agriculture and Environment, CNRS, Beirut, Lebanon. Dr. Makkouk contributed to the scientific knowledge through 174 articles in refereed journals, 27 articles in meetings proceedings and 16 chapters in books by international publishers. In addition to his research achievements, Dr. Makkouk played a leadership role within national, regional and international scientific communities. He is a founding member, secretary-treasurer, vice-president and president of the Arab Society of Plant Protection (ASPP). At present he serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Arab Journal of Plant Protection published by ASPP. He also served as member, board member, vice-president and president of the Mediterranean Phytopathological Union (MPU). In addition, Dr. Makkouk served as an active member in a number of international professional scientific groups such as (i) Special Projects Committeee of the International Society of Plant Pathology (1983-1988), (ii) Chairman of the Mediterranean Fruit Improvement Council Steering Committee (1983-1999), (iii) Member of of the Plant Virus Sub-committee of the International Committee for Taxonomy of Viruses (1988-1999), and (iv) Executive Secretary, International Working Group on Legume Viruses (1994-1996). Dr. Makkouk also guided around 25 graduate students (M. Sc. and Ph. D.) to conduct their thesis research in his laboratory.


Abstract/Summary

Can agricultural biotechnology mitigate climate change effects and increased demand on food?  Khaled Makkouk, Advisor for Environment and Agriculture, National Council for Scientific Research, Beirut, Lebanon.
A global population of 9.1 billion expected in 2050 together with climate change effects of increased temperature, reduced precipitation, increased CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, reduced productivity of livestock, escalated prevalence of pests and diseases will all impose a challenge on the scientific community to come up with appropriate approaches to cope with the increased demand on food under more stressed conditions. Several biotechnological tools are already in use to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Genetic transformation to produce drought-, heat-, cold-, pest-, and salt-tolerant crops, as well as crops with improved nutritional quality has been increasingly used over the past few decades. In addition, tissue culture techniques (somaclonal variation, double haploid production, embryo rescue…..etc.) are also used to develop new crop varieties with increased yield and tolerance to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses. Many molecular tools at present (e. g. markers assisted selection) proved to be extremely useful to traditional breeding to produce improved crop varieties within shorter periods of time. Moreover, molecular tools are permitting better understanding of existing biodiversity, and deployment of useful traits that exist in wild relatives of crop plants. Furthermore, molecular diagnostic tools are now permitting more accurate and faster identification of crop pests and this helps in better management of these pests and consequently reduce the yield losses they cause to agricultural crops. It should be kept in mind that there is no single solution to the stresses facing food production. However, agricultural biotechnology techniques will play a role as one of several tools available in the fight against climate change effects.