Launched in 2010, Plants for the 21st Century (P21C) is a translational research initiative that aims to maximize the impact of research carried out in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Oxford.
P21C research is focussed on three main areas of global importance – crop production, conservation of biodiversity, and forestry. These three areas are aligned with fundamental research activities in the department. For example, research in biochemistry, genetics and developmental biology underpins crop science projects that aim to improve drought tolerance, resource use efficiency, photosynthetic capacity and disease resistance. Similarly, research in systematics and ecology underpins projects that aim to classify and prioritize species for conservation in different global habitats.
P21C programs aim to generate scientific resources and information that will enable policy makers, conservation agencies, multinational companies and individuals to use land in a way that will maximize crop outputs, protect 'hotspots' of species diversity and ensure that forests and farms are maintained in a sustainable manner.