Program for the application of genetic transformation for crop improvement in the semi-arid tropics. uri icon

abstract

  • The semi-arid tropics are characterized by unpredictable weather, limited and erratic rainfall and nutrient-poor soilsand suffer from a host of agricultural constraints. Several diseases, insect pests and drought affect crop productivity.Developing stress-resistant crops has been a worthwhile activity of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT). Mandated crops of ICRISAT, including groundnut, pigeonpea, chickpea, sorghum and pearlmillet, are the main staple foods for nearly one billion people in the semi-arid tropics. Genetic transformation provides acomplementary means for the genetic betterment of the genome of these crops. Judicious application of biotechnologicaltools holds great potential for alleviating some of the major constraints to productivity of these crops in the agriculturalsystems of the semi-arid tropics. This article reviews plant genetic engineering in relation to its applications in geneticenhancement and the improvement of important crops of the semi-arid tropics. For the benefit of nonbiotechnologists, abrief review of technical aspects of plant genetic engineering is also included

publication date

  • 2000
  • 2000