STRATEGIES TO INCREASE CROP YIELDS IN A CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIO

Published in Scientific Bulletin. Series F. Biotechnologies, Vol. XXII
Written by Monica BOSCAIU, Miguel NARANJO, Oscar VICENTE

The forecasted effects of climate change – higher average temperatures, more intense and frequent droughts, increasing scarcity of water for irrigation – will worsen the problem of stress-induced reduction of crop yields, especially in arid regions. Development of new crop cultivars with enhanced tolerance to drought and salinity is probably the most promising strategy to improve agricultural productivity and food production. Some recent examples predict that this goal will be achieved in the near future using both, traditional breeding (with the help of new biotechnological tools) and genetic engineering. A complementary strategy could be based on the domestication of wild species naturally tolerant to stress. Optimizing plant nutrition with new and improved fertilizers will also contribute to stress tolerance of our present crops, as more resources will be available to maintain growth while activating defense mechanisms. There is also an increasing interest in the so-called 'biostimulants’, a disparate group of unrelated substances that enhance crop quality traits, nutrition efficiency and/or abiotic stress tolerance, also contributing to increased yields under stress conditions. Examples of all these strategies are presented and discussed.

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BOSCAIU M., NARANJO M., VICENTE O. 2018, STRATEGIES TO INCREASE CROP YIELDS IN A CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIO. Scientific Bulletin. Series F. Biotechnologies, Vol. XXII, ISSN 2285-1364, 15-20.


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