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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.

USAID-Feed the Future Innovation Lab – Development of Abiotic Stress Tolerant Millet for Africa and South Asia

Millet plays different roles in food security. It remains a staple of millions among the poorest in both India and Africa. At the same time, its growing value in the food and feed industry offers opportunities for income generation. This economic value is evident in the growth in production in both regions, even if acreage has declined. While among the staples most adapted to harsh environments, productivity gains from increased and broad stress tolerance will be significant.

QTL & Genetics

QTL & Genetics An important aspect in assisting the breeding programs involves generating the knowledge on genetic determination of traits of potential economic value. Once the information on relevant physiological mechanisms is transformed into the network of underlying genomic regions – quantitative trait loci (QTL) – and interactions of these QTLs are understood, such knowledge … Continue reading QTL & Genetics


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

Simulation Modelling

Simulation Modelling Once the reasonable depth of understanding the physiological traits is attained, ultimately, the tool for value/risk assessment of such new technology within target agro-eco-systems is necessary. Reproducing the physiological traits in silico using modelling tools enables probabilistic foresight on mechanistic of physiological traits within the framework of target agricultural production systems and so allows … Continue reading Simulation Modelling

Trait Dissection

  Trait Dissection Within team activities, dissection of physiological traits lay the baseline on which all other activities are built. We focus on understanding the range of plant adaptive mechanisms underlying the crop water usage which can potentially contribute to plant production advantage in various drought stress environments. Regulated dry down Transpiration response to VPD … Continue reading Trait Dissection