247-1 Crop germplasm to overcome challenges to global food and nutritional security.

See more from this Division: C08 Plant Genetic Resources
See more from this Session: Frank N. Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources Breakfast and Award
Tuesday, November 5, 2013: 7:05 AM
Marriott Tampa Waterside, Room 4
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Hari D. Upadhyaya, ICRISAT, Patancheru, Hyderabad, India
The world population by 2050 will be over 9 billion, which would require about 70% increase in food production to provide sufficient food to entire population. The evidence and predictions suggest an overall negative effect on agricultural production, changes in pest and disease dynamics, increased risk to food and feed contaminated by mycotoxin-producing fungi, and decline in nutritional quality of food crops due to global warming. The genetic base of most food crops is narrow due to bottlenecks associated with their domestication. Therefore there is a continued need to assemble and screen germplasm strategically (using representative subsets) and discover new sources of variation for use in breeding to broaden cultigen’s genepool. Globally, 7.4 million accessions of plant genetic resources are conserved in about 1800 genebanks. ICRISAT collections include 0.12 million accessions of chickpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, pearl millet, sorghum and six small millets. ICRISAT approach using mini core collection (10% of core or 1% of entire collections) as resource to identify new sources of variation has resulted in identification of trait-specific genetically diverse germplasm with agronomically beneficial traits. Crop wild relatives are reservoir of gene(s) not only associated with resistance to pest and diseases but also to agronomic and nutritional traits. The interspecific derivatives in chickpea, pigeonpea and groundnut have also shown large variability for agronomically beneficial traits, such as increased seed size, greater root length density and productivity. Greater emphasis should be on germplasm enhancement (pre-breeding) to develop intermediate products with specific characteristics for use in crop improvement programs. Increased use of agrobiodiversity together with modern genomics tools is crucial to coping with new challenges to agricultural production.
See more from this Division: C08 Plant Genetic Resources
See more from this Session: Frank N. Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources Breakfast and Award