Landrace Germplasm for Improving Yield and Abiotic Stress Adaptation
Plant landraces represent heterogeneous, local adaptations of domesticated species, and thereby provide genetic resources that meet current and new challenges for farming in stressful environments. These local ecotypes can show variable phenology and low-to-moderate edible yield, but are often highly nutritious. The main contributions of landraces to plant breeding have been traits for more efficient nutrient uptake and utilization, as well as useful genes for adaptation to stressful environments such as water stress, salinity, and high temperatures. We propose that a systematic landrace evaluation may define patterns of diversity, which will facilitate identifying alleles for enhancing yield and abiotic stress adaptation, thus raising the productivity and stability of staple crops in vulnerable environments.