IOBB E-Seminar - 02
Plant biotechnology in the 21st century: 
the challenges ahead
Prof. Arie Altman, Israel
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Proceedings: archive  date  topic
Date 15-26 March 2004
Internet Venue
Plant biotechnology in the 21st century: the challenges ahead
EJB Electronic Journal of Biotechnology 2(2): 1999 
Presented by Prof. Arie Altman, Ph.D. 
The Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
About the Author
Professor of Horticulture and Chairperson
     Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences 
(P.O.Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel. Phone: (x-972-0)8-9489477 or: secretary (x-972-0)8-9489098, Fax: (x-972)8-9489899 , Cellular: 052-608045 , e-mail:

Member, Israeli National Committee of Biotechnology

1992 –1998 : Director, the Otto Warburg Center of Biotechnology in Agriculture
1994-1998 : President, International Association of Plant Tissue Culture & Biotechnology 

Editor and Editorial Boards

  • Annual Review of Plant Biotechnology and Applied Genetics, 
  • In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology-Plant, 
  • Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, 
  • Plant Cell Reports 
  • and others. 
  • 1987-1991 : Plant Physiology , 
Research interests
Molecular control of plant response to drought and salinity tolerance, Agricultural biotechnology, Forest tree biotechnology. 

Over 150 research publications, Editor of 4 books.

In a world where population growth is outstripping food supply agricultural –and especially plant-biotechnology, needs to be swiftly implemented in all walks of life. Achievements today in plant biotechnology have already surpassed all previous expectations, and the future is even more promising. The full realisation of the agricultural biotechnology revolution depends on both continued successful and innovative research and development activities and on a favourable regulatory climate and public acceptance. 

Biotechnology should be fully integrated with classical physiology and breeding: 
(1) as an aid to classical breeding, 
(2) for generation of engineered organisms, 
(3) for integration of microorganisms into agricultural production systems. 

Biotechnology is nowadays changing the agricultural and plant scene in three major areas: 
(1) growth and development control (vegetative, generative and reproduction/propagation), 
(2) protecting plants against the ever-increasing threats of abiotic and biotic stress, 
(3) expanding the horizons by producing specialty foods, biochemicals and pharmaceuticals.