Drought as a challenge for the plant breeder
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Salvatore Ceccarelli, Stefania Grando. (1/11/1996). Drought as a challenge for the plant breeder. Plant Growth Regulation, 20, pp. 149-155.
Since agriculture began, drought has been on of the major plagues affecting crop production causing famine and death. Despite many decades of research, drought continues to be a major challenge to agricultural scientists. This is due to the unpredictability of its occurrence, severity, timing and duration; and to the interaction of drought with other abiotic stresses, particularly extremes of temperature and variations in nutrients availability; and with biotic stresses. Breeding has not been as effective in improving crop production under drought-stress conditions as it has in their absence — or where the stress can be alleviated by irrigation. This paper argues that the relative lack of success of breeding for stress conditions in general, and for drought-stress conditions in particular, can be partly attributed to use of the same breeding approach that is successful for favourable environments. A different breeding approach for drought-stress conditions is discussed in relation to the environment in which selection should be conducted, the germplasm to be used, and the experimental designs and plot techniques to be employed.
- Agricultural Research Knowledge