This Research Topic is part of the For a Sweet World – Towards Sustainable Sugar Crops series:For a Sweet World – Towards Sustainable Sugar Crops
This Research Topic addresses how sugar crop species – such as sugar cane and sugar beet – are cultivated, and how to scale up the sugar production to meet humankind needs in a sustainable manner. We emphasize opportunities to improve cultivation and sugar-processing methods, as well as molecular breeding approaches to develop improved varieties.
Every year, humankind produces 175 Mt of sugar (sucrose). On average, a human being consumes 23.5 kg sugar per year. This sugar consumption increases by 0.150 kg per year; this means that every year 1 Mt must be produced to meet humankind needs. At the current rate of increase, in 2050 the forecasted 9 billion world population will consume about 230 Mt of sugar every year. Currently, the world production of sugar relies on two species: sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum L., 75% of the production) and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L. subsp. vulgaris, 25% of the production). Since excess stocks from these plants can be converted into biofuels, the demand for these crops is expanding.
This Research Topic aims at addressing the sustainable cultivation of sugar crops, throughout the implementation of sustainable methods of cultivation and processing, as well as molecular breeding. We will consider manuscripts addressing the following topics:
- Methods to reduce the negative effects of production inputs
- Sustainable agricultural approaches to satisfy present needs without compromising future requirements. This includes new ways to handle pesticide pollution, loss of biodiversity and soil fertility, resistance to pathogens and weeds, eutrophication of surface- and ground-waters, emission of greenhouse gasses, …
- Techniques for farmer to improve sugar production with fewer inputs and less acreage
- Release of new traits of interest through molecular breeding
Although this Research Topic focuses on the two main sugar crop species (i.e. sugar cane and sugar beet), we welcome manuscripts dealing with other sugar crops.