Targeting carbon for crop yield and drought resilience

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Griffiths, C. A. and Paul, M. J. 2017. Targeting carbon for crop yield and drought resilience. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture - jsfa. 97 (14), pp. 4663-4671.

AuthorsGriffiths, C. A. and Paul, M. J.

Current methods of crop improvement are not keeping pace with projected increases in population growth. Breeding, focused around key traits of stem height and disease resistance, delivered the step‐change yield improvements of the green revolution of the 1960s. However, subsequently, yield increases through conventional breeding have been below the projected requirement of 2.4% per year required by 2050. Genetic modification (GM) mainly for herbicide tolerance and insect resistance has been transformational, akin to a second green revolution, although GM has yet to make major inroads into intrinsic yield processes themselves. Drought imposes the major restriction on crop yields globally but, as yet, has not benefited substantially from genetic improvement and still presents a major challenge to agriculture. Much still has to be learnt about the complex process of how drought limits yield and what should be targeted. Mechanisms of drought adaptation from the natural environment cannot be taken into crops without significant modification for the agricultural environment because mechanisms of drought tolerance are often in contrast with mechanisms of high productivity required in agriculture. However, through convergence of fundamental and translational science, it would appear that a mechanism of sucrose allocation in crops can be modified for both productivity and resilience to drought and other stresses. Recent publications show how this mechanism can be targeted by GM, natural variation and a new chemical approach. Here, with an emphasis on drought, we highlight how understanding fundamental science about how crops grow, develop and what limits their growth and yield can be combined with targeted genetic selection and pioneering chemical intervention technology for transformational yield improvements. © 2017 The Authors. Journal of The Science of Food and Agriculture published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywordssucrose; trehalose 6‐phosphate; drought; yield-potential; resilience
Year of Publication2017
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture - jsfa
Journal citation97 (14), pp. 4663-4671
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
PubMed ID28653336
PubMed Central IDPMC5655914
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeDesigning Future Wheat (DFW) [ISPG]
Increasing wheat drought tolerance and recovery throughout the life cycle through regulation of plant growth mechanisms
DFW - Designing Future Wheat - Work package 1 (WP1) - Increased efficiency and sustainability
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online27 Jun 2017
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Jun 2017
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Copyright licenseCC BY
Grant IDBB/N004205/1

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