[S34] Applications of evolutionary biology in agriculture and industry

Understanding evolution by natural selection can be applied to improve the efficiency of artificial selection. For example, natural selection most often favours competitive traits that maximize fitness at the individual level but compromise collective performance of a group. Understanding this trade-off between individual and group-level performance, we may design artificial selection schemes to maximize collective performance. This approach could be applied to stably maximize microbial enzyme production in chemostat cultivation, and has already successfully been applied in the emerging field "Darwinian Agriculture”. A prime example is the breeding for "social chicken” by selecting at the level of family groups instead of traditional individual-level selection schemes. In this symposium, we consider the opportunities of applying evolutionary insights to agriculture and industry. We invite participants working on fundamental aspects of evolution (life-history trade-offs, levels of selection and mutualistic symbiosis) and application (agriculture and chemostat cultivation), to identify common principles and possibilities for application in agriculture and industry.
Organizers: Duur Aanen, Niels Anten, Bas Zwaan
Invited speakers: Piter Bijma, Ford Denison