Enhancing Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Cereals Through Breeding and Transgenic Interventions uri icon

abstract

  • The success of plant breeding in the 20th century led to new cultivars that, to date, have provided enough food for an increasing world population (Conway and Toenniessen 1999; Mifflin 2000). The results of the Green Revolution-led in the 1960s by Henry M. Beachell andNormanE. Dotlaug?resulted in a dramatic increase in rice and wheal grain yields (Milford and Runge 2007; Ortiz et al. 2007). However, abiotic stresses and climate change are becoming increasingly serious threats to crop production worldwide at a time when food staple supply will need to be significantly higher to meet the demand of the growing human population. Water scarcity (Rockstrom et al. 2007), salinity (Rengasamy 2006). and low soil fertility (Sanchez and Swaminathan 2005) rank among the moat important abiotic stresses worldwide. Similarly, increased climatic disturbances due to global warming are causing the major stresses that necessitate crop improvements to safeguard grain supply, particularly in the developing world (Kumar 2006). Hence, genetic enhancement of cereal crops with respect to abiotic stress tolerance will be essential far ensuring grain yields in water-limited, increasingly hotter agricultural zones, particularly If these conditions combine with poor and saline soils, conditions that prevail in parts of the developing world. Crop breeding for adaptation to abiotic stress-prone environments remains a challenging task, not least because of the complexity of the stress-adaptive mechanisms in plants and particularly cereal crops, which are the staple of most of the world's population (Reynolds et al. 2005}

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010