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Improving crop yield potential: Underlying biological processes and future prospects

Burgess, Alexandra J.; Masclaux‐Daubresse, Céline; Strittmatter, Günter; Weber, Andreas P. M.; Taylor, Samuel Harry; Harbinson, Jeremy; Yin, Xinyou; Long, Stephen; Paul, Matthew J.; Westhoff, Peter; Loreto, Francesco; Ceriotti, Aldo; Saltenis, Vandasue L. R.; Pribil, Mathias; Nacry, Philippe; Scharff, Lars B.; Jensen, Poul Erik; Muller, Bertrand; Cohan, Jean‐Pierre; Foulkes, John; Rogowsky, Peter; Debaeke, Philippe; Meyer, Christian; Nelissen, Hilde; Inzé, Dirk; Klein Lankhorst, René; Parry, Martin A. J.; Murchie, Erik H.; Baekelandt, Alexandra

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Assistant Professor in Agriculture and The Environment

Céline Masclaux‐Daubresse

Günter Strittmatter

Andreas P. M. Weber

Samuel Harry Taylor

Jeremy Harbinson

Xinyou Yin

Stephen Long

Matthew J. Paul

Peter Westhoff

Francesco Loreto

Aldo Ceriotti

Vandasue L. R. Saltenis

Mathias Pribil

Philippe Nacry

Lars B. Scharff

Poul Erik Jensen

Bertrand Muller

Jean‐Pierre Cohan

Peter Rogowsky

Philippe Debaeke

Christian Meyer

Hilde Nelissen

Dirk Inzé

René Klein Lankhorst

Martin A. J. Parry

Professor of Applied Plant Physiology

Alexandra Baekelandt


The growing world population and global increases in the standard of living both result in an increasing demand for food, feed and other plant‐derived products. In the coming years, plant‐based research will be among the major drivers ensuring food security and the expansion of the bio‐based economy. Crop productivity is determined by several factors, including the available physical and agricultural resources, crop management, and the resource use efficiency, quality and intrinsic yield potential of the chosen crop. This review focuses on intrinsic yield potential, since understanding its determinants and their biological basis will allow to maximize the plant's potential in food and energy production. Yield potential is determined by a variety of complex traits that integrate strictly regulated processes and their underlying gene regulatory networks. Due to this inherent complexity, numerous potential targets have been identified that could be exploited to increase crop yield. These encompass diverse metabolic and physical processes at the cellular, organ and canopy level. We present an overview of some of the distinct biological processes considered to be crucial for yield determination that could further be exploited to improve future crop productivity.


Burgess, A. J., Masclaux‐Daubresse, C., Strittmatter, G., Weber, A. P. M., Taylor, S. H., Harbinson, J., …Baekelandt, A. (2023). Improving crop yield potential: Underlying biological processes and future prospects. Food and Energy Security, 12(1), Article e435.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Nov 10, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 2, 2022
Publication Date Jan 1, 2023
Deposit Date Feb 23, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Journal Food and Energy Security
Electronic ISSN 2048-3694
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Article Number e435
Keywords Crop improvement, Crop yield, Food supply, Nutrient remobilisation, Organ growth, Photosynthesis, Agronomy and Crop Science, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment, Food Science; Forestry
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Additional Information Received: 2022-05-19; Accepted: 2022-11-10; Published: 2022-12-02; This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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