St. Louis Public Radio News
5:47 pm
Mon October 26, 2009

Plant scientists from across globe now in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO – Nearly 1,500 plant scientists are in St. Louis this week for an international conference dealing with world food production, among other things.

The International Congress on Plant Molecular Biology is returning to the U.S. for the first time in over two decades.

Conference chair Perry Gustafson says the selection of St. Louis for the meeting says a lot about the region's reputation in the field of plant science.

"You have Monsanto, you have the Danforth Center, you have Washington University, you have the University of Missouri, etc. This area is a major powerhouse in plant science research designed to manipulate plants to produce more food for the world's population," Gustafson said.

He says the challenge for scientists today is how to increase the world's food supply to keep up with a growing population, while also working to improve the hunger problem.

The conference is dedicated to agronomist Norman Borlaug, the "father of the green revolution", who passed away last month.

The conference continues through Friday in downtown St. Louis.