Towards equitable public sector plant breeding in the United States

Lauren Brzozowski, Solveig Hanson, Jean Luc Jannink, Brigid Meints, Virginia Moore, Hale Tufan, Seren Villwock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Plant breeding is central to agriculture and shifts in plant breeding practices (e.g., hybrid development) and selection goals (e.g., response to synthetic fertilizer) have catalyzed monumental and persistent changes in agricultural production systems of all scales with social, political, economic, and environmental repercussions. Although plant breeders are largely trained in the sciences of biology, genetics, and statistics, we posit an ethical imperative to examine the degree of equity with which the benefits of new research and plant cultivars are distributed. In the United States, the history of plant breeding parallels the colonial history of agriculture, which compels reflection by current plant breeders about their role in shaping our agricultural system. In this perspective essay, we examine longstanding ideas about equitable food systems through the lens of public plant breeding in the United States. We propose a framework for equitable plant breeding with respect to both its process and outcomes, and we intend for the ideas presented herein to catalyze reflection, discussions, and actions as the plant breeding community seeks greater equity in the food and seed systems our work supports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2076-2090
Number of pages15
JournalCrop Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Crop Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Crop Science Society of America.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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