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Embracing new-generation 'omics' tools to improve drought tolerance in cereal and food-legume crops

Singh, B., Bohra, A., Mishra, S., Joshi, R. and Pandey, S. (2015) Embracing new-generation 'omics' tools to improve drought tolerance in cereal and food-legume crops. Biologia Plantarum, 59 (3). pp. 413-428.

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Drought stress presents a considerable threat to the global crop production. As a dominant source of vegetarian diet, cereals and grain-legumes remain crucial to meeting the growing dietary demands worldwide. Therefore, breeding cultivars of these staple crops with enhanced drought tolerance stands to be one of the most sustainable solutions to enhance food production in changing climate. Given the context, a more focused survey of environment-defined germplasm sets is imperative to comprehend such adaptive traits. In parallel, uncovering the genetic architecture and the molecular networks that collectively contribute towards drought tolerance is urgently required through rationally combining large-scale genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics data. Also, attention needs to be directed to reasonably quantify the epistatic as well as environmental influences, thereby warranting deployment of analyses like metaquantitative trait loci (QTL) that encompass multiple environments and diverse genetic backgrounds. Further, innovative techniques like genomic selection (GS) and genome wide association study (GWAS) would help to capture the quantitative variation underlying drought tolerance. Equally importantly, integration of physiological traits-based techniques with ever-evolving 'omics' technologies and the new-generation phenotyping platforms will be of immense importance in advancing our existing knowledge about the genetically-complex and poorly-understood phenomena, such as plant drought response, and a deeper understanding would likely to provide a great impetus to the progress of crop breeding for drought tolerance.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Copyright: © 2015 B. SINGH et al.
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