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Next generation of elevated [C02] experiments with crops: a critical investment for feeding the future world


Ainsworth, EA and Beier, C and Calfapietra, C and Ceulemans, R and Durand-Tardif, MD and Farquhar, GD and Godbold, DL and Hendrey, GR and Hickler, T and Kaduk, J and Karnosky, DF and Kimball, BA and Korner, C and Koornneef, M and Lafarge, T and Leakey, ADB and Lewin, KF and Long, SP and Manderscheid, R and McNeil, DL and Miles, TA and Miglietta, F and Morgan, JA and Nagy, J and Norby, RJ and Norton, RM and Percy, KE and Rogers, A and Soussana, JF and Stitt, M and Weigel, HJ and White, JW, Next generation of elevated [C02] experiments with crops: a critical investment for feeding the future world, Plant, Cell and Environment, 31, (9) pp. 1317-1324. ISSN 0140-7791 (2008) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-3040.2008.01841.x


A rising global population and demand for protein-rich diets are increasing pressure to maximize agricultural productivity. Rising atmospheric [CO 2] is altering global temperature and precipitation patterns, which challenges agricultural productivity. While rising [CO 2] provides a unique opportunity to increase the productivity of C 3 crops, average yield stimulation observed to date is well below potential gains. Thus, there is room for improving productivity. However, only a fraction of available germplasm of crops has been tested for CO 2 responsiveness. Yield is a complex phenotypic trait determined by the interactions of a genotype with the environment. Selection of promising genotypes and characterization of response mechanisms will only be effective if crop improvement and systems biology approaches are closely linked to production environments, that is, on the farm within major growing regions. Free air CO 2 enrichment (FACE) experiments can provide the platform upon which to conduct genetic screening and elucidate the inheritance and mechanisms that underlie genotypic differences in productivity under elevated [CO 2]. We propose a new generation of large-scale, low-cost per unit area FACE experiments to identify the most CO 2-responsive genotypes and provide starting lines for future breeding programmes. This is necessary if we are to realize the potential for yield gains in the future.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Crop and pasture production
Research Field:Crop and pasture improvement (incl. selection and breeding)
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Grains and seeds
Objective Field:Grain legumes
UTAS Author:McNeil, DL (Professor David McNeil)
ID Code:55240
Year Published:2008
Web of Science® Times Cited:126
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2009-03-06
Last Modified:2009-04-08

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