Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics

Patancheru, India

Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics

Patancheru, India
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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-2-04 | Award Amount: 7.73M | Year: 2008

Malnutrition, and especially deficiencies of micronutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin A, undermine the progress towards most of the Millennium Development Goals. In view of the serious coverage, compliance and safety concerns of supplementation, this project aims to identify novel staple food-based approaches to improve micronutrient malnutrition for better health and development of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa. It will focus on the improvement of millet-, sorghum-, maize-, and cassava based (complementary) foods. The genetic potential of staple foods for increasing the micronutrient and antinutrient content will be evaluated and the determinants of success and failure of introducing biofortified staple foods in local farming systems will be assessed. The efficacy of biofortified staple foods with adequate levels of provitamin A will be determined. Concerning fortification, the project will develop and test new approaches to optimise iron and zinc fortification of staple food-based foods. The project will develop improved (traditional) processing methods of the staple foods concerned to enhance micronutrient uptake and bioavailability. The developed approaches in the area of biofortification, fortification and processing will be compared on efficacy of improving iron and zinc intake and status. The safety of the improved staple foods on immunity and infections will be evaluated as well as the impact on cognitive development of young children. Through capacity building and strengthening the scientific and technological excellence in the field of staple food-based approaches in Africa and Europe, the project seeks to significantly contribute to the improvement of the dietary quality of young children and their mothers living in resource poor areas in sub-Saharan Africa. New scientific knowledge will be exploited to strengthen the competitiveness of local SMEs targeted at evidence-based production of healthier (complementary) foods for African children.


Sharma S.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
Crop Science | Year: 2017

Like many other major crops, ICRISAT’s mandate grain legume crops have a narrow genetic base. The production and productivity of these crops is adversely affected by different biotic and abiotic stresses, and high levels of resistance or tolerance to these stresses are not available in the cultivated genepool. In contrast, wild species harbor many useful genes and have potential to thrive well under climatic extremities. However, utilization of these wild species for the genetic improvement of crop cultivars is hindered mainly due to ploidy level differences between cultivated and wild species, cross-incompatibility barriers, and linkage drag. Systematic prebreeding efforts involving wild species of Cicer, Cajanus, and Arachis as donors and popular well-adapted cultivars of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.], and groundnut (Arachis hypogea L.) as recipient parents, respectively, have led to the development of new genepools having good agronomic performance and higher frequency of useful genes and alleles introgressed from wild species. Evaluation of a few populations for biotic stresses and yield-related traits resulted in the identification of desirable introgression lines (ILs) that have been shared with NARS for use in breeding programs. Overall, prebreeding ensures continuous supply of novel and diverse genetic variability derived from wild species in readily usable form into the breeding pipelines to develop new climate-resilient cultivars with a broad genetic base. © Crop Science Society of America.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2008-3-1-02 | Award Amount: 5.12M | Year: 2009

Increasing world market prices for fossil fuels, driven by limited reserves, growing demand and instability in producing regions, now render renewable fuels economical. Such fuels are also a pathway to reducing GHG emissions and mitigating climate change. Bio-ethanol from crop plants is a promising, partial solution to sustainably satisfy the energy demand for road transport. The success of bio-ethanol from sugarcane in Brazil demonstrates proof of concept but cannot be transferred to water-limited or temperate environments. Sweet sorghum, as a source of either fermentable free sugars or lignocellulosics, has many potential advantages, including: high water, nitrogen and radiation use efficiency; broad agro-ecological adaptation; rich genetic diversity for useful traits; and the potential to produce fuel feedstock, food and feed in various combinations. Fuel-food crops can thereby help reconciling energy and food security issues. This project will breed for improved cultivars and hybrids of sorghum for temperate, tropical semi-arid and tropical acid-soil environments by pyramiding in various combinations, depending on region and ideotype, tolerance to cold, drought and acid (Al-toxic) soils; and high production of stalk sugars, easily digestible biomass and grain (WP 1-3). Molecular-genetic and physiological breeding support is given by WP4, and agro-ecological adaptation and sustainable practices are developed by WP5. Other WPs (6, 7, 8) provide for integrated technology and impact assessments including economics, dissemination and coordination. The Consortium is composed of 10 members from France (leader), Italy, Germany, Brazil, India, Mexico and South Africa, including a seed company. Research involves structured participation of stake holders, including policy makers. Project outcomes will be new germplasm, sustainable practices and commodity chain concepts adapted to each target region. The duration of the project is 5 years.


Varshney R.K.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics | Varshney R.K.,University of Western Australia | Terauchi R.,Iwate Biotechnology Research Center | McCouch S.R.,Cornell University
PLoS Biology | Year: 2014

Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies are being used to generate whole genome sequences for a wide range of crop species. When combined with precise phenotyping methods, these technologies provide a powerful and rapid tool for identifying the genetic basis of agriculturally important traits and for predicting the breeding value of individuals in a plant breeding population. Here we summarize current trends and future prospects for utilizing NGS-based technologies to develop crops with improved trait performance and increase the efficiency of modern plant breeding. It is our hope that the application of NGS technologies to plant breeding will help us to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population. © 2014 Varshney et al.


Varshney R.K.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics | Terauchi R.,Iwate Biotechnology Research Center | McCouch S.R.,Cornell University
PLoS biology | Year: 2014

Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies are being used to generate whole genome sequences for a wide range of crop species. When combined with precise phenotyping methods, these technologies provide a powerful and rapid tool for identifying the genetic basis of agriculturally important traits and for predicting the breeding value of individuals in a plant breeding population. Here we summarize current trends and future prospects for utilizing NGS-based technologies to develop crops with improved trait performance and increase the efficiency of modern plant breeding. It is our hope that the application of NGS technologies to plant breeding will help us to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population.


Vadez V.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
Field Crops Research | Year: 2014

Roots have long been proposed as a major avenue of research to improve crop adaptation to water limitations. The simple assumption is that deeper and more profuse root systems could tap extra water from the soil profile and alleviate drought effects. However, after decades of research, success in breeding cultivars with improved root systems is lagging behind. Here, we attempt to analyze the possible reasons for this, and re-focus on what root traits might provide the most promising avenues for drought adaptation. We approach the root system from the angle of water extraction, using data from a lysimetric system that allows monitoring and comparing plant water use over the entire crop life cycle and yield, and analyze whether and how differences in water extraction lead to improved yield across different crops. The main message from that analysis is that water extraction during reproduction and grain filling is critical and comes from a number of traits that influence the rate at which plant use the available water before and during stress. Roots may have an effect on this, not from the traditionally thought density or depth, but rather from their hydraulic characteristics. Plants can indeed control water use by controlling leaf area development and this is a "long term" control. Plants also control water losses by controlling stomata opening under high vapor pressure deficit (VPD) conditions, in a transient manner. Both processes (leaf development and stomata opening) are mostly controlled by hydraulic processes. The role of roots in drought adaptation could be there, along with the soil, in setting an hydraulic environment that allow plants to use water in a way that allow maximizing water use for these critical stages. © 2014 The Authors.


War A.R.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
Plant signaling & behavior | Year: 2012

Plants respond to herbivory through various morphological, biochemicals, and molecular mechanisms to counter/offset the effects of herbivore attack. The biochemical mechanisms of defense against the herbivores are wide-ranging, highly dynamic, and are mediated both by direct and indirect defenses. The defensive compounds are either produced constitutively or in response to plant damage, and affect feeding, growth, and survival of herbivores. In addition, plants also release volatile organic compounds that attract the natural enemies of the herbivores. These strategies either act independently or in conjunction with each other. However, our understanding of these defensive mechanisms is still limited. Induced resistance could be exploited as an important tool for the pest management to minimize the amounts of insecticides used for pest control. Host plant resistance to insects, particularly, induced resistance, can also be manipulated with the use of chemical elicitors of secondary metabolites, which confer resistance to insects. By understanding the mechanisms of induced resistance, we can predict the herbivores that are likely to be affected by induced responses. The elicitors of induced responses can be sprayed on crop plants to build up the natural defense system against damage caused by herbivores. The induced responses can also be engineered genetically, so that the defensive compounds are constitutively produced in plants against are challenged by the herbivory. Induced resistance can be exploited for developing crop cultivars, which readily produce the inducible response upon mild infestation, and can act as one of components of integrated pest management for sustainable crop production.


Sahrawat K.L.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science | Year: 2012

The lowland rice system in Asia makes a major contribution to the global rice supply and is often cited as an example of a sustainable system in which two or three crops of rice are grown in sequence under submerged conditions. However, water shortages are becoming critical in some regions for lowland rice cultivation; and there is high potential in exploring rice cultivation under moisture regimes that save water and also increase productivity. The objective of this article therefore is to analyze the consequences of switching growing of rice from flooded to aerobic conditions on soil fertility and its management. Fertility advantages of submerged rice include amelioration of chemical fertility, preferential accumulation of organic matter and improved availability of major, secondary and selected micronutrients, which contribute to the long-term maintenance of soil fertility and sustainability of the lowland rice system. However, the fertility problems under aerobic rice are better addressed with the crop as a component of a cropping system because continuous growing of aerobic rice in sequence does not seem sustainable due to complex, site-specific chemical and biological constraints. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


Clement F.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
Policy Sciences | Year: 2010

There has often been a gap between policy intentions and outcomes in the field of natural resource governance. Analysing the factors for these discrepancies requires multi-level approaches that relate policy decisions formulated at the national and international level with the decisions of local resource users. A key asset of the Institutional Analysis and Development framework is precisely its ability to link multiple governance levels. Yet most commons literature has been limited to the study of collective action among local communities without considering higher institutional and government levels. To overcome this limitation, I posit for a methodological development of the framework, which bridges the gap between institutional analysis, power-centred and historical approaches, and discourse analysis. The application of the extended framework to the study of state afforestation policies in Vietnam highlights the need to simultaneously consider institutions, the politico-economic context and discourses across governance and government levels. As illustrated in this paper, such a framework does not only facilitate the analysis of policy shortcomings but also supports the design and dissemination of policy recommendations. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2009.


Zaman-Allah M.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics | Jenkinson D.M.,University of Sydney | Vadez V.,Indian International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2011

Chickpea is mostly grown on stored soil moisture, and deep/profuse rooting has been hypothesized for almost three decades to be critical for improving chickpea tolerance to terminal drought. However, temporal patterns of water use that leave water available for reproduction and grain filling could be equally critical. Therefore, variation in water use pattern and root depth/density were measured, and their relationships to yield tested under fully irrigated and terminal drought stress, using lysimeters that provided soil volumes equivalent to field conditions. Twenty chickpea genotypes having similar plant phenology but contrasting for a field-derived terminal drought-tolerance index based on yield were used. The pattern of water extraction clearly discriminated tolerant and sensitive genotypes. Tolerant genotypes had a lower water uptake and a lower index of stomatal conductance at the vegetative stage than sensitive ones, while tolerant genotypes extracted more water than sensitive genotypes after flowering. The magnitude of the variation in root growth components (depth, length density, RLD, dry weight, RDW) did not distinguish tolerant from sensitive genotypes. The seed yield was not significantly correlated with the root length density (RLD) in any soil layers, whereas seed yield was both negatively related to water uptake between 23-38 DAS, and positively related to water uptake between 48-61 DAS. Under these conditions of terminal drought, the most critical component of tolerance in chickpea was the conservative use of water early in the cropping cycle, explained partly by a lower canopy conductance, which resulted in more water available in the soil profile during reproduction leading to higher reproductive success. © 2011 The Author.

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