Strengthening agroecological farming with climate smart crops
Zulqurnain Khan, Asif Ali Khan, Furqan Ahmad
MNS University of Agriculture, Institute of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, Pakistan
After ensuring the food security for over 50 years, the green revolution is eventually reaching its biological limits which are very much reflected by the ongoing stagnancy in yield increased over the past few decades. Meeting the increasing food demands due to increasing population is the greatest challenge for today’s plant scientists. Changing climatic conditions are posing additional threats to crop growth, productivity and yield. After successfully deploying gene editing to modify simple traits, scientists are now embarked on more ambitious adventures in genomics to combat challenges of food security in the wake of increasing population and climate change adversaries. This study outlines use of new technologies in tailoring crops beyond simple traits aiming to harvest the desired diversity lost during domestication and manipulating complex traits, which evolved over evolutionary timescale with special emphasis on the development of climate smart crops. New techniques are need of the hour to feed the masses with quality food ensuring food security and safety. Safe use of new technique is a big challenge which may be resolved by better understanding and usage of the techniques. Implementation of new policy from various authorities such as USDA regarding genome edited crops for not regulating as GMO has given new dimensions to agroecological farming. Keeping in view, we used various genome editing tools such as TALEs, TALENs, Cas9, dCas9 and multiplexed Cas9 for genetic improvement of plants ranging from model plants to cotton. We ought to present all our work for further collaboration to the scientific community. Moreover, increasing quality of food with sustainability in production has many challenges which can not be solved without using new technologies.
Keywords: Biotechnology, breeding, climate change, climate smart crops, food security
Contact Address: Zulqurnain Khan, MNS University of Agriculture, Institute of Plant Breeding and Biotechnology, Old shujabad road, 60000 Multan, Pakistan, e-mail: zulqurnain.khanmnsuam.edu.pk