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.
Molecular Physiology Basic research using the tools of molecular biology enables us to investigate the physiological traits of interest up to the level of gene variability and expression in selected germplasm. Since far, we mainly focus on characterization of genes & gene expression related to cellular water channels (aquaporins) in our mandate crops. Aquaporins … Continue reading Molecular Physiology
Phenotyping After the given plant phenotype is reasonably understood and the potential economic value of the phenotype assessed in silico, ultimately, the tools enabling massive screening of such phenotype is inevitable to assist the breeding programs. To encounter the typical breeding population size and screen for the phenotype relevant for crop production improvement in target … Continue reading Phenotyping
For us gems means GEMS, or G*E*M*S (genotype by environment by management by society) interactions, i.e. the fact that crop yields results from complex biophysical interactions while acceptance depends on farmer/consumer preferences. This complexity becomes an opportunity when it is cracked into components that can be analysed, understood, predicted, and then used to prioritise research investments to maximise return. This is what we do, and this is when GEMS become gems!
For us gems means GEMS, or G*E*M*S (genotype by environment by management by society) interactions, i.e. the fact that crop yields results from complex biophysical interactions while acceptance depends on farmer/consumer preferences. This complexity becomes an opportunity when it is cracked into components that can be analyzed, understood, predicted, and then used to prioritize research investments to maximise return. This is what we do, and this is when GEMS become gems!
A crop performs in different ways in different sites, years and agronomic managements. These are called genotype-by-environment-by management(G*E*M) interactions, and they are a main challenge for breeders and agronomists. There is one more layer of interaction, even more complex: the society (S). Farmers and consumers have different desires, needs, expectations, and a cultivar that fits one may not fit the other (G*E*M*S interactions). The puzzle is complex and challenging but if its components are understood, specific interventions can be undertaken.For instance, breeding for a particular genotype (G, with particular physiological characteristics), for a particular environment (E, with a particular kind of drought pattern that requires a specific adaptive trait), in a particular management practice (M, for instance a sowing density, or a N fertilizer treatment), and targeted to particular farmer/consumer (S, for instance a genotype that produces a lot of rich stover for cattle ranchers) is the need of the hour.