Food security: one of the greatest challenges for Humanity | News


26.04.2024 - 26.04.2024

Food security: one of the greatest challenges for Humanity

Open event, at the premises of H2B HUB Business Incubation Center of the Chamber of Heraklion, 14 Koroneou street (3rd floor).

Friday, 26th of April 2024


Panagiotis Sarris,

Professor in “Microbiology & Host – Microbe Interactions”: Department of Biology, University of Crete.

Honorary Professor: in “Microbiology and Plant Immunity”, School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, UK.

Head of the “Microbiology & Molecular Host-Microbe Interactions” Group:
Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB-FORTH).

You can find the link of the speech (in greek) at the link:


One of the most important modern-day challenges is meeting the nutritional needs of an ever-growing population, while the earth's natural resources are dramatically decreasing. This essentially means that any loss in food production becomes extremely significant.

Climate change, along with prevailing intensive farming techniques, pose a serious risk to the global Food Security, as they cause adverse effects on food production, such as the emergence of new plant pathogens, which result in losses that can exceed 50% of the annual production of important crops.

According to the UN, "food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and dietary preferences for an active and healthy life". A series of recent events, e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of climate change, etc. have revealed the vulnerability of food production systems worldwide, as well as the fear of a global food crisis.

Today we are faced with the existence of phytopathogenic micro-organisms which are primarily dealt with by using chemicals that may be harmful to humans and the environment. Therefore, it is imperative to develop new sustainable and environmentally friendly management strategies to minimize production losses from pathogens.

Prof. P. Sarris’ lab research focuses on the study of the molecular mechanisms of plant-microbe interaction to understand both microbial pathogenicity and the activation of innate immunity in resistant hosts.