Breeding for Adaptation to Environmental Stress?
Although breeding for adaptation to environmental stresses is a more complicated problem than breeding for adaptation to biotic stresses, the basic procedure is identical. Initial steps include understanding the specific problems, and establishing methods to identify better-adapted materials. This is followed by determining if useful genetic variability for adaptation exists, and if so, deciding upon the best mean1737s to select for improved adaptation in a breeding program. The results of these steps then allow a rational decision on whether breeding for better adaptation is justified. This procedure is illustrated using two different environmental stress problems in pearl millet: failure of stand establishment and drought stress during grain filling. Useful progress has been made on understanding the problems involved and developing screening and selection methods. Current efforts center on assessing the genetic variability for these traits and evaluating the response to direct selection for adaptation
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