However, it is clear that the demand to produce sufficient major food crops wheat, rice and maize for the growing population has always been increasing. Hence, optimizing yield stability for these major crops and locally important crops is essential. Therefore, maintaining food security in this scenario will require systematic approaches see later including the use of drought-tolerant germplasm Reynolds and Ortiz Recent advances in plant physiology, genomics and some future breeding strategies Fig.
Open image in new window. Conceptual framework for drought adaptation The conceptual framework for yield drought adaptation by Passioura has three important drivers: 1 water uptake WU , 2 water-use efficiency WUE and 3 harvest index HI.
It is therefore crucial to target specific physiological mechanisms and to identify those traits most relevant to the patterns of drought stress found in the target environment. For example, in crops grown with residual soil moisture that experience terminal drought, such as chickpea Cicer arietinum , genotypes with deeper, more profuse roots have an advantage through better water extraction deeper in the soil profile Kashiwagi et al.
Therefore in several crops such as chickpea Silim and Saxena , wheat Reynolds et al. However, some recent studies Zaman-Allah et al. These traits include: 1 low leaf conductance under non-limited water conditions during the vegetative stage, which could be measured by a warmer canopy, 2 a low leaf expansion rate when soil moisture is still non-limiting for plant growth and a restriction of plant growth under progressive exposure to stress and 3 a higher fraction of transpirable soil water FTSW thresholds that reduce transpiration, thus avoiding rapid soil water depletion Fig. Several studies have shown that FTSW can be linked to variables describing plant water status such as midday leaf water potential, leaf relative water content and stomatal conductance Sinclair and Ludlow ; Pellegrino et al.
The precise phenotyping of drought-related PTs often requires the utilization of sophisticated and expensive techniques herein listed: Near-infrared NIR spectroscopy on agricultural harvesters This method provides spectral information corresponding to the field plot in a single near-infrared spectrum, where physical and chemical characteristics of the harvested seed material are captured.
Canopy spectral reflectance SR and infrared thermography IRT Spectral reflectance of plant canopy is a non-invasive phenotyping technique that enables several dynamic complex traits, such as biomass accumulation, to be monitored with high temporal resolution Montes et al.
Physiology and Biotechnology Integration for Plant Breeding - CRC Press Book. ykoketomel.ml: Physiology and Biotechnology Integration for Plant Breeding ( Books in Soils, Plants, and the Environment) (): Henry T. Nguyen .
In summary, the techniques and platforms mentioned above will greatly improve the phenotyping accuracy and throughput, thus contributing to a better elucidation of the genetic control of complex drought tolerance traits in plants. Therefore, to overcome this problem, multi-tiered selection screens, where a simple but less accurate screen allows large number of genotypes to be evaluated first screen , followed by tiers of more sophisticated screens of decreasing numbers of genotypes have been proposed Sinclair , Fig. A three-tiered sequence of physiological screens have been already used to identify candidate parental genotypes for use as parents in breeding programs for some key traits like nitrogen fixation activity during soil water deficit in soybean Sinclair et al.
Furthermore, bringing integrative phenotyping technology, such as that developed by LemnaTec, from the controlled environments to the field will improve the assessment of plant responses to drought while enabling high-throughput screening and generating comprehensive and accurate phenotypic data. QTL discovery for drought tolerance-related traits Traditional QTL mapping involves: 1 development of mapping populations segregating for drought tolerance-related traits, 2 identification of polymorphic markers, 3 genotyping of the mapping populations with polymorphic markers, 4 construction of genetic maps, 5 precise phenotyping for drought tolerance-related traits, as mentioned above, and 6 QTL mapping using both genotypic and phenotypic data.
These QTLs were identified for a variety of important traits including: 1 yield and yield-contributing traits under water-deficit conditions in the case of wheat, maize, rice, soybean and pearl millet , 2 physiological responses including water-soluble carbohydrates, carbon isotope ratio, osmotic potential, chlorophyll content, flag leaf rolling index, grain carbon isotope discrimination, relative water content, leaf osmotic potential, osmotic adjustment, chlorophyll and chlorophyll fluorescence parameters to drought stress in the case of wheat, maize and rice , 3 flowering time including anthesis to silking interval in maize , 4 root traits rice, maize, wheat, soybean and chickpea , 5 stay green sorghum and 6 nitrogen fixation soybean.
However, so far QTL studies on the impact of drought on grain quality have not been documented. Most of the identified QTLs for drought traits explain a relatively small portion of total phenotypic variation. As a result, their direct deployment in breeding programmes through marker-assisted selection MAS may not be very effective. These QTLs, after validation in desired germplasm, can be used for introgressing drought tolerance from the donor genotypes generally used for identification of the QTL for the trait into elite, less drought-tolerant cultivars or breeding lines recipient parents without transfer of undesirable or deleterious genes from the donors linkage drag.
The process is commonly referred to as marker-assisted backcrossing MABC.
Similar work was done in maize to introgress favourable alleles at five target regions that influence the expression of yield components, flowering traits including anthesis—silking interval ASI and increased grain yield under water-limited conditions see Ribaut and Ragot Field evaluation conducted under well-watered and water-stressed conditions in two consecutive seasons indicated that each pair of root - ABA1 backcross-derived near isogenic lines differed significantly and markedly for L-ABA, thus confirming the effectiveness of MAS Landi et al. Similarly, a major QTL for improved grain yield in pearl millet under terminal drought stress when transferred into a drought-sensitive genotype showed a consistent grain yield advantage Serraj et al.
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