DST-DAAD Joint Project (2017-2019); Root hydraulics: towards answering the global questions on root functionality and possible use in crop improvement programs
Why work with them / What was done
The University of Bayreuth is a public research university situated in Bayreuth, Germany. It was found in 1975 as a campus university focusing on international collaboration and interdisciplinarity. The geoscience team from Bayreuth University (Prof. Dr. Andrea Carminati and Mutez Ali Ahmed) is expertise in root and rhizosphere traits (mucilage and root hairs) related to water uptake. The team aims to understand how the hydraulic traits such as rhizosphere traits, xylem vulnerability to cavitation as well as gap formation at the root-soil interface in response to soil drying impact the stomatal closure and thus transpiration (short time feedbacks). ICRISAT- the University of Bayreuth joint collaboration enhances the understanding of short-time hydraulic regulation and its impacts on the water use economy during crop growth that eventually impact biomass and yield. In an on-going research collaboration with the University of Bayreuth, team GEMS attempts to understand the short-term hydraulic regulation in C4 cereal crops (Maize, Sorghum, and Pearl Millet) using high throughput phenotyping platforms (LeasyScan and Lysimeter)
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.