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University of California, Davis

Climate Resilient Pearl Millet Innovation lab – We had our complementary expertise on water stress adaptation to develop cultivars of pearl millet that are more resilient to harsh climatic conditions (especially in relation to water stress and high evaporative demand).

Kirkhouse Trust – Benchmarking Traits Controlling the Plant Water Budget in “Orphan” Legumes

The difficulty of comparing crops species for their “drought tolerance” is that “tolerance” is often confused with simple differences in plant water needs. For instance peanut develops a larger leaf area, has longer duration and higher yield potential than cowpea, but needs more water to fulfil its growth cycle. Both peanut and cowpea are considered drought tolerant, but each species fits specific environments where the rainfall and length of the growing season matches their water and duration requirement.

ACIAR – Improving Postrainy Sorghum Varieties to Meet the Growing Grain and Fodder Demand in India – Phase 2

Postrainy sorghum is important for about 5 million households of India. Both grain and stover residues play an almost equally important role in the sorghum value chain, and the price of stover is linked to stover quality. Postrainy sorghum production is constrained by water limitation. The purpose of that project is therefore two-folds: (i) generate cultivars with higher productivity and quality under such limitation; (ii) generate knowledge to speed up the generation of improved cultivars for similar constraints across the world.

USAID – Feed the Future Innovation Lab – Climate Resilient Sorghum

The drier parts of the world are where development challenges are the greatest and market failure is most acute, and few if any of these are more urgent than the ‘Sahel’ region of Africa. Its unusual tolerance of low inputs, especially water, make the cereal crop sorghum essential to human populations in the Sahel, where episodic drought is a fact of life. Despite its importance, sorghum improvement has lagged that of maize, wheat and rice, largely if not entirely due to greater effort invested in the ‘Big Three’.

USAID – Feed the Future Innovation Lab – Climate Resilient Chickpea

Chickpea is the world’s second most important pulse legume, with particular importance in the semi-arid tropics of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Like the majority of cultivated legumes, chickpea has exceedingly narrow genetic and phenotypic diversity. This has consequences for breeding of climate-resilient crop varieties, because much of the historical phenotypic plasticity necessary to tolerate environmental extremes has been lost through domestication.

CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals

The contribution of the group to the scope of these two large CG-wide initiative follows the main research streams , therefore essentially around:

  • Trait dissection of plant adaptation to water limitation and high evaporative demand conditions
  • Modelling activities for priority setting of critical breeding and agronomic management targets

The Hidden Effect of Temperature

Much of the current research on climate change focuses on the effect of high temperature on the reproductive biology (e.g. seed setting, pollen viability). Considerably less research is conducted targeting the effects of higher temperature on increasing the evaporative demand around the crop canopy. High evaporative demand depletes the plant’s water reserve faster and the … Continue reading The Hidden Effect of Temperature