The role of genetics in adaptation of agriculture to climate change

Published on July 1, 2014   49 min

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Other Talks in the Series: Agricultural Genetics

Hello, my name is Roberto Tuberosa, and I teach plant biotechnology applied to plant breeding at the University of Bologna in Italy. My research interests focus mainly on maize and durum wheat, also known as pasta wheat, durum wheat. My lecture will touch upon a number of important issues to better understand and appreciate the roles that modern genetics will play to select more climate-resilient crop cultivars, better able to adapt to a fast changing environment. It has been estimated that approximately 70% of the increase in food production that will be required to meet an adequate level of food security by year 2050, will derive from genetics approaches. Particularly genomics applied to combination of breeding.
The contents of this lecture partially overlap and expand those of other lectures. Particularly the one provided by Professor Henry, Professor Tester, Professor Paterson, and Professor King. But also provide useful information and material for a number of issues important to mitigate the consequences of climate change on agriculture by a genetics approach. In view of the vastity and complexity of the issue started by my lecture, I will only focus on the limited number of aspects and examples. I will start by setting the stage for a number of important issues and aspects, including also some dos and don'ts as related to both conventional breeding, and to molecular breeding, also known as genomics assisted breeding. Due to the fact that most traits that regulate the adaptive response of the plant are quantitative, the QTL approach will be dealt with quite extensively in this lecture, with some examples from my own lab, and also from the literature. Finally, I will provide some comments on the future challenges and opportunities to best mitigate the negative effects of climate change.

The role of genetics in adaptation of agriculture to climate change

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