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Extending crop growing season to improve yield

Renes, S.E. (2012) Extending crop growing season to improve yield. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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In order to keep up with growing demands on food worldwide, different ways in which crop yields can be improved need to be investigated. Genetic yield potential depends in part on the total incident solar radiation, which is related to the length of the growing season. This paper aims to give a preliminary assessment of the potential for increasing crop yields by extending the growing season, in the light of expected climatic changes, with the focus on the situation in the cool temperate climate of north-west Europe. In this region the growing season is mainly limited by low temperatures. There is evidence, however, that many crops do not make use of their full potential growing season. In order to extend the growing season, cold tolerance will need to be dealt with. But one of the effects of climate change seems to be a lengthening of the growing season because of higher air temperatures. This would facilitate earlier planting of crops, although this will require the use of longer season cultivars to counteract the expected yield decline in cereal crops due to an increased speed of development. So in order to prolong the growing season, more cold-tolerant and longer season cultivars are needed. The use of landraces and wild relatives may be promising sources for new genetic variation, which could be used to breed new varieties with the desired traits. Marker-assisted (recurrent) selection and genome-wide selection are relatively new technologies available for breeding, which can help in selecting for the desired phenotypes. And a modeling approach, finally, in which genetic mapping is combined with ecophysiological models shows promise for gaining better understanding of the genotype-phenotype relationships and could allow selection of the best genotype for a specific set of environmental conditions.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:50
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:50

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