An integrated approach to maintaining cereal productivity under climate change
This article (PDF) in Global Food Security journal focuses on how knowledge sharing and strategic research collaboration could speed-up genetic, physiological, and molecular understanding of important cereal traits. Cereals, like wheat, rice, maize, pearl millet, and sorghum provide over half of the world’s food calories. However, climate change impacts cereal production, since heat and water stress increase, and waterlogging, frost and diseases and pest dynamics change. To maintain global food security, there is an increasing need to exploit existing genetic variability and develop cultivars with superior genetic yield potential and stress adaptation. The opportunity to share knowledge between crops and identify priority traits for future research can be exploited to increase breeding impacts and assist in identifying the genetic loci that control adaptation. The authors claim a more internationally coordinated approach to crop phenotyping and modeling, combined with effective sharing of knowledge, facilities, and data, will boost the cost effectiveness and facilitate genetic gains of all staple crops, with likely spill over to more neglected crops.