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Current Genomics


ISSN (Print): 1389-2029
ISSN (Online): 1875-5488

Genome-assisted Breeding For Drought Resistance

Author(s): Awais Khan, Valpuri Sovero and Dorcus Gemenet

Volume 17, Issue 4, 2016

Page: [330 - 342] Pages: 13

DOI: 10.2174/1389202917999160211101417

open access plus


Drought stress caused by unpredictable precipitation poses a major threat to food production worldwide, and its impact is only expected to increase with the further onset of climate change. Understanding the effect of drought stress on crops and plants' response is critical for developing improved varieties with stable high yield to fill a growing food gap from an increasing population depending on decreasing land and water resources. When a plant encounters drought stress, it may use multiple response types, depending on environmental conditions, drought stress intensity and duration, and the physiological stage of the plant. Drought stress responses can be divided into four broad types: drought escape, drought avoidance, drought tolerance, and drought recovery, each characterized by interacting mechanisms, which may together be referred to as drought resistance mechanisms. The complex nature of drought resistance requires a multi-pronged approach to breed new varieties with stable and enhanced yield under drought stress conditions. High throughput genomics and phenomics allow marker-assisted selection (MAS) and genomic selection (GS), which offer rapid and targeted improvement of populations and identification of parents for rapid genetic gains and improved drought-resistant varieties. Using these approaches together with appropriate genetic diversity, databases, analytical tools, and well-characterized drought stress scenarios, weather and soil data, new varieties with improved drought resistance corresponding to grower preferences can be introduced into target regions rapidly.

Keywords: Drought stress, Genomics, Phenomics, Breeding, Marker-assisted selection, Physiological processes.

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