The science edition of January 15 1999 contained an interesting article about new possibilities for increasing yields of crops. ("Crop Scientists Seek a New Revolution"). One of the possibilities mentioned is this article is the construction/selection of plants that are optimized for intercepting light, e.g. through the position of the leaves.
Another possibility is to create increased efficiency of the carbohydrate metabolism by means of genetic engineering. One of the examples is the regulation of the metabolism by modifying the level of trehalose -6-phosphate. Recently, Zeneca has abtained a patent on this technology. If you want to know more details, you can look at the website of the European Patent Office. You can look at the WO patent search index. Type publication number WO9742326 and you'll get the information in Adobe Acrobat format. The website of EPO is at http://ep.dips.org/dips/ep/en/dips4.htm
Huib de Vriend
stichting Consument en Biotechnologie
2500 BA Den Haag
phone: +31 70 44 54 498
fax: +31 70 44 54 592