Towards season-free agriculture

Sharma, B. (2009) Towards season-free agriculture. The Indian Journal of Genetics and Plant Breeding, 69 (4). pp. 361-366.

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Applied molecular genetics, popularly known as biotechnology, has opened opportunities beyond imagination. It is likely to revolutionize the science of plant breeding in not too distant future. With the possibility of transferring genes across the biological world, it has become possible to create new plant genotypes carrying traits not only unique to closer or distant taxa, but even those from animal and microbial kingdoms. A thorough churning of cropping patterns should be possible by creating new varieties adaptable to unconventional environments.Two major environmental factors determine the acceptability of any crop or different varieties of a particular crop. These are temperature and photoperiod. Genotypes that are neutral (insensitive) to day length and simultaneously tolerant to high as well as low temperatures could be cultivated in any part of the year, especially in tropical and subtropical regions of the globe. Efforts will also be needed to make such varieties tolerant/resistant/immune to the various biotic (e.g. pests and diseases) and abiotic (drought, salinity etc.) factors which perpetually inflict crops, leading to huge economic losses. All the above properties are under genetic control. Genes controlling these traits, one way or the other, can be harvested from close and distant taxa and used in genetic transformation. Genes for opposite properties, e.g. simultaneous tolerance to high as well as low temperatures, can be pyramidied in a single genotype, and their cultivation will not be season bound.. Consequences of such an eventuality will have tremendous impact on world agriculture, ultimately leading to solving the food problem of ballooning populations in the poorest countries.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Crops, unrestricted cultivation, gene mining, genetic transformation, unrelated donors of genes.
Author Affiliation: Division of Genetics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Delhi, 110012.
Subjects: Crop Improvement > Plant Breeding
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Siva Shankar
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2012 05:20
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2012 05:20
Official URL:

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