In Petersburg have started talking about necessity of creation of Fund of food grain. The subject came up on Wednesday after the meeting of Vladimir Putin on agriculture and food industry.

“you Need to ensure their internal market and evaluate it, to use the opportunities which are now open for our companies, including, of course, exports. There is a risk of declining revenues and increasing costs,” said the Russian President.

According to one of the participants of the meeting – Director of Leningradsky Kombinat KHLEBOPRODUKTOV im. S. M. Kirov Natalia Zagorskaya, measures should be taken immediately. Over the past three years the market value of the grain grown in our country by 50%. Profitability in the milling and baking industries is low.

Epidemic COVID-19 the situation clearly improves. Then it is time to speak about food security of the state. One of the components which is the preservation and shaping of the national bio-resource collections, as well as the development of breakthrough research and genetic technologies. Them, as found by the correspondent of “SP”, ready to actively engage in scientific institutes of the Northern capital. To wait would only be from the native state assistance in this important matter.

– Collection of seeds of our Institute abroad was referred to as the Hermitage agricultural plants, – said Elena Khlestkina, Director, all-Russian Institute of plant genetic resources for them. N. And. Vavilov, member of the presidential Council of the Russian Federation on science and education. – In many of those countries where over the past decade were collected stored samples, their relatives anymore. And we are preserved in a living form, becoming a major factor of genetic diversity. Without which could not have been successful breeding. For example, winter wheat. In its production, Russia is currently among the world market leaders.

Another important example of economic – for the first time deciphered in the early 2000-ies of the gene of wheat. Worked on this international team. The basis of the study were taken samples of our collections of genetic resources. We do conduct research. Recent – associated with the genetic editing of the Crimean grapes.

<a href = "SP": – On the agenda is dictated by the pandemic, food security of the country. Domestic farmers are already facing difficulties caused by rising prices, a drop in consumer demand. Experts believe that the development of agriculture falters, many of its industries will develop unevenly. What can help them? Your foreign colleagues are doing now betting on the development of genetic technologies.

And we have the corresponding program. It is directly connected with a fundamental��governmental research. And does not conflict with the prohibition of the government of the Russian Federation on the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as many mistakenly believe. Actually, I think that the negative attitudes to GM flaw, including us scientists. Were not able to explain to the society what it is. This is not only transgenic plants that experts, say, there are issues, but edited.

Modern technology allows to quickly obtain such mutations that naturally occur in plants (organisms) really slowly. By editing the process of mutation can be greatly accelerated. Plant (organism) is the same as in the natural environment. With regard to food security, genetic studies give hope for the development of methods for personalized selection and creation nutrition for a specific group of consumers.

We at our Institute are currently working on such varieties of grain that are in the process of growing will themselves develop the necessary healthy components.

<a href = "SP": – With genetic technology figured out. And how are you doing with digital?

– A great need for appropriate equipment and special computer programs. All of this requires, of course, additional funding…

The theme continues Igor Tikhonovich, academician of RAS, scientific Director of the research Institute for agricultural Microbiology.

– I envy the growers. Their “wards” is the genetic diversity that we, that is, never dreamed of, – started Igor Medvedev. – For today we know only about 10% of the microorganisms on the planet. Other – uncultivated forms. In laboratories we do not know how to grow them, but they live in large numbers in the soil, in each of its gram – billions of bacteria! All of this is our genetic reserve. Imagine what opportunities for utilization, combining genes? For biotechnology?

<a href = "SP": – Do not they cause disease in animals and humans?

Cause, yeah, some of their representatives. But much more microorganisms that serve us faithfully. They are an important addition to plant genome, which, like humans, are unable to acquire new or lose existing genes. Only in limited quantities and only while you are editing. By the way, the mechanism of editing we learned from bacteria that are suffering from viruses, more than people, and learned to recognize them, deal with them due to their specific sensitive receptors.

<a href = "SP": – So, agrobacteria taught you and genetic engineering?

– It turns out that way. Today it is little explored, but very promising in Microbiology path. Mcroby factor of growth and development of plants. They are able to deal with drought, can optimize the nutrition in phosphorus and nitrogen, protect from contamination. With them and don’t need fertilizer. This is what saving agriculture! And, therefore, products will be cheaper in the end. In many civilized countries it has long been understood and used by the Union of plants and microorganisms. In our country we are now in the beginning…

<a href = "SP": – it is Interesting how plants and useful microbes know each other?

– A good question. We at the Institute are engaged in the search for the answer. When we understand what and how, will be able to create new microbial micro-plants that will act in the right direction. For example, with a large number of functions. What will ultimately allow you to consistently grow high yields.

<a href = "SP": – What is the relationship of these developments with geopolitics and food security of the country?

– The most direct. Microorganisms will allow, as I said above, to save on fertilizers, almost everywhere we branded, expensive. Will help to protect us from blood-sucking insects, making the food chain of fish and birds is not interrupted. And also to smooth out some fluctuations in the external environment mean drought and freezing. Which will give the opportunity to consistently good products, and, therefore, to plan in advance investments in its production. The development of production of microbiological preparations – a task of strategic perspective. Tradition in Microbiology from Russia are good. Need to preserve and increase them. What may be problematic with the lack of competent personnel, which started in the country in recent years.