Opinion: Increasing crop yield and resilience with trehalose 6-phosphate ($)

Trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) is a disaccharide formed from two glucose sugars, and more importantly is a signal of glucose availability and regulator of energy homeostasis. Acting via the protein kinase SnRK1, T6P controls the allocation of carbon, leading the plant down a “feast” (growth) or “famine” (survival) metabolic and growth pathway. Paul et al. review the evidence from three cereal crops that altering T6P levels (through GM, marker-assisted selection and novel chemistry) can promote food security through source-sink optimization, for example by stimulating grain filling even under drought conditions. J. Exp. Bot. 10.1093/jxb/erx083