Plant genetic resources management and discovering genes for designing crops resilient to changing climate

Sharma, S.K. and Bisht, I.S. and Sarker, A. (2011) Plant genetic resources management and discovering genes for designing crops resilient to changing climate. In: Food security and climate change in dry areas , 1-4 February 2010, Amman, Jordan.

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Climate change is expected to result in increased frequency of drought, heat stress, submergence of land, increased soil salinity, etc. Much of the existing literature assumes that farmers will automatically adapt to climate change and thereby lessen many of its potential negative impacts, taking for granted the monumental past efforts at the collection, conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources on which much of the farmer’s adaptation has historically depended. Given potentially large climatic changes, it is dangerous to assume that adaptation of cultivars will happen automatically. Extensive crop breeding that relies on access to genetic resources will almost certainly be required for adapting crops to climate change. Key to successful crop improvement is a continued supply of genetic diversity including new or improved variability for target traits such as early flowering as a mechanism to escape drought, root characteristics, water use efficiency, amount of water transpired, transpiration efficiency, osmotic adjustment, stem water soluble carbohydrates, stay green and leaf abscisic acid content. The core/ minicore collections developed in many genebanks can provide new sources of variation for beneficial adaptive traits to climate change. Substantial knowledge and insight is therefore needed to gauge what type of diversity now exists in the genebanks, and what will be needed in the future. Greater investments need to be made in phenotyping and genotyping the native genetic variation contained in seed banks and collecting the remaining diversity, particularly that associated with traits of value to crop adaptation to climate change. Plant breeders and other users of genebank collections should play a key role in shaping these efforts to ensure that the end result is useful.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: climate change adaptation; gene prospecting; plant genetic resources
Author Affiliation: National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources, Pusa Campus, New Delhi-110 012, India
Subjects: Atmosperic Science > Climatology
Crop Improvement > Genetics/Genomics
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Sandhya Gir
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2011 05:24
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2011 05:24
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