Tackling Climate Change: A Breeder’s Perspective

  • P. K. Singh
  • R. S. Singh


The threat of climate change is well evident by the fact of increasing temperature and more frequent severe drought and floods in recent times, and higher incidence of insects-pest and diseases impacting agriculture and food production. This situation has aggravated the scarcity of food and hunger around the world. To mitigate the ill effects of climate change, developing climate resilient varieties for heat, cold, drought and flood stresses is one of the options, where breeders can play major role. Several Institutions in the world are engaged in developing viable strategies. This will require a much better understanding of our genetic resources, the underlying mechanism of gene interactions and pyramiding multi-stress related genes for developing new variety or improving the already cultivated variety. The most suited approaches should involve conventional breeding as well as new emerging technologies like doubled haploidy, marker-assisted selection, high throughput phenotyping and bioinformatics to hasten the crop improvement. For breeders, ample opportunity lies in developing climate resilient high-yielding varieties, resistant/tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses that help increasing food production and productivity, thus ease the cultivation under climate change regime. In this direction, several international institutes have initiated work on developing climate resilient crops, for example, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) has released 44 varieties of rice that are resilient to the effects of climate change and work is underway on a tripartite rice variation to cope with stresses like droughts, floods and saltiness. Even, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) identified 40 germplasm lines of chickpea with resistance to extreme weather conditions such as drought, high temperature and salinity. In India, various ICAR institutes and state agricultural universities, under National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) programme, made the concerted efforts to develop different high yielding cultivars with enhanced tolerance to heat, drought, flooding, chilling and salinity stresses for different agro-climatic zones. Thus, effect of climate change can be withstand to a greater extent with a suitable genetic blue print in our cultivars and that need more focussed research and development from breeder’s side.


Climate change Plant breeding Genetic resources Climate resilient varieties 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. K. Singh
    • 1
  • R. S. Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Breeding and GeneticsBihar Agricultural UniversityBhagalpurIndia

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