An assessment of yield gains under climate change due to genetic modification of pearl millet. uri icon

abstract

  • Developing cultivars with traits that can enhance and sustain productivity under climate change will be an important climate smart adaptation option. The modified CSM-CERES-Pearl millet model was used to assess yield gains by modifying plant traits determining crop maturity duration, potential yield and tolerance to drought and heat in pearl millet cultivars grown at six locations in arid (Hisar, Jodhpur, Bikaner) and semi-arid (Jaipur, Aurangabad and Bijapur) tropical India and two locations in semi-arid tropical West Africa (Sadore in Niamey and Cinzana in Mali). In all the study locations the yields decreased when crop maturity duration was decreased by 10% both in current and future climate conditions; however, 10% increase in crop maturity significantly (p < 0.05) increased yields at Aurangabad and Bijapur, but not at other locations. Increasing yield potential traits by 10% increased yields under both the climate situations in India and West Africa. Drought tolerance imparted the lowest yield gain at Aurangabad (6%), the highest at Sadore (30%) and intermediate at the other locations under current climate. Under climate change the contribution of drought tolerance to the yield of cultivars either increased or decreased depending upon changes in rainfall of the locations. Yield benefits of heat tolerance substantially increased under climate change at most locations, having the greatest effects at Bikaner (17%) in India and Sadore (13%) in West Africa. Aurangabad and Bijapur locations had no yield advantage from heat tolerance due to their low temperature regimes. Thus drought and heat tolerance in pearl millet increased yields under climate change in both the arid and semi-arid tropical climates with greater benefit in relatively hotter environments. This study will assists the plant breeders in evaluating new promising plant traits of pearl millet for adapting to climate change at the selected locations and other similar environments

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017