The world population is projected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050. Between now and then, we will need to produce more food than we have in the previous 10,000 years. College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty members are hard at work examining the critical questions and developing innovative solutions to the grand challenge of feeding the world.
Cassava is Africa’s number two crop and a major source of calories for 700 million people, but it’s highly susceptible to pathogens such as cassava mosaic disease. With African colleagues and students, Dr. Linda Hanley-Bowdoin of NC State University’s College of Agriculture conducts basic research aimed at gaining a better basic molecular-level understanding of viruses and how they affect cassava.
“If it weren’t for honeybees and other pollinators, we wouldn’t have about a third of everything that we eat,” explains Dr. David Tarpy, a North Carolina State University entomologist. In this video, he explains his research on the genomics of honeybee queen development and their reproductive potential. It’s research with important implications for the future of food production.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have for the first time mapped human disease-causing pathogens, dividing the world into a number of regions where similar diseases occur. The findings show that the world can be separated into seven regions for vectored human diseases – diseases that are spread by pests, like mosquito-borne malaria – and five regions for non-vectored diseases, like cholera.
In this second annual bus tour, Linton and his department heads led a two-day exploration of North Carolina’s piedmont region.
As nighttime temperatures rise faster than daytime temperatures, agricultural production faces a new challenge being explored by NC State University’s Dr. Colleen Doherty. Doherty, an assistant professor of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, studies how plants perceive and respond to changing temperatures and other stressors that keep them from attaining optimal yields.
Calling a booming world population “the mother of all wicked problems,” National Institute of Food and Agriculture Director Sonny Ramaswamy called upon an NC State University audience to press forward in their attempts to deliver on the promise of biophysical and social sciences in ensuring food security for a population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050.
Climate change is expected to disrupt ecosystems by changing insects’ and other organisms’ life cycles in unpredictable ways -– and scientists are getting a preview of these changes in cities. NC State University research shows that some insect pests are thriving in warm, urban environments and developing earlier, limiting the impact of parasitoid wasps that normally help keep those pest populations in check.
Researchers at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems have received three grants totaling more than $2.5 million since July to support research and education at the center’s 2,000-acre research farm in Goldsboro and on farms across the state.
Walnuts are known to be a rich source of disease-fighting nutrients; they are often labeled a “superfood” and are key components of the Mediterranean diet. Yet as much as science has revealed about the health benefits of walnuts, their phytochemical makeup in large has remained a mystery to this point.