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Rewilding crops for climate resilience: economic analysis and de novo domestication strategies


Razzaq, A and Wani, SH and Saleem, F and Yu, M and Zhou, M and Shabala, S, Rewilding crops for climate resilience: economic analysis and de novo domestication strategies, Journal of Experimental Botany, 72, (18) pp. 6123-6139. ISSN 0022-0957 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1093/jxb/erab276


To match predicted population growth, annual food production should be doubled by 2050. This is not achievable by current agronomical and breeding practices, due to the impact of climate changes and associated abiotic stresses on agricultural production systems. Here, we analyze the impact of global climate trends on crop productivity and show that the overall loss in crop production from climate-driven abiotic stresses may exceed US$170 billion year1 and represents a major threat to global food security. We also show that abiotic stress tolerance had been present in wild progenitors of modern crops but was lost during their domestication. We argue for a major shift in our paradigm of crop breeding, focusing on climate resilience, and call for a broader use of wild relatives as a major tool in this process. We argue that, while molecular tools are currently in place to harness the potential of climate-resilient genes present in wild relatives, the complex polygenic nature of tolerance traits remains a major bottleneck in this process. Future research efforts should be focused not only on finding appropriate wild relatives but also on development of efficient cell-based high-throughput phenotyping platforms allowing assessment of the in planta operation of key genes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:abiotic stress, breeding, drought, flooding, food security, population growth, salinity, wild relatives, breeding
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Grains and seeds
Objective Field:Grains and seeds not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Zhou, M (Professor Meixue Zhou)
UTAS Author:Shabala, S (Professor Sergey Shabala)
ID Code:147693
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Agriculture and Food Systems
Deposited On:2021-11-11
Last Modified:2021-12-01

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