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Article

The Role of Genetic Resources in Breeding for Climate Change: The Case of Public Breeding Programmes in Eighteen Developing Countries

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Bioversity International, Via dei Tre Denari 472/a, Maccarese (Fiumicino), 00057 Rome, Italy
2
Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy Studies, School of Public Affairs, Arizona State University, 411 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(9), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091129
Received: 29 July 2020 / Revised: 20 August 2020 / Accepted: 21 August 2020 / Published: 31 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biodiversity and Genetic Resources)
The role of plant breeding in adapting crops to climate changes that affect food production in developing countries is recognized as extremely important and urgent, alongside other agronomic, socio-economic and policy adaptation pathways. To enhance plant breeders’ capacity to respond to climate challenges, it is acknowledged that they need to be able to access and use as much genetic diversity as they can get. Through an analysis of data from a global survey, we explore if and how public breeders in selected developing countries are responding to climate challenges through a renewed or innovative use of plant genetic resources, particularly in terms of types of material incorporated into their breeding work as well as sources of such germplasm. It also looks at the possible limitations breeders encounter in their efforts towards exploring diversity for adaptation. Breeders are clearly considering climate challenges. In general, their efforts are aimed at intensifying their breeding work on traits that they were already working on before climate change was so widely discussed. Similarly, the kinds of germplasm they use, and the sources from which they obtain it, do not appear to have changed significantly over the course of recent years. The main challenges breeders faced in accessing germplasm were linked to administrative/legal factors, particularly related to obtaining genetic resources across national borders. They also underscore technical challenges such as a lack of appropriate technologies to exploit germplasm sets such as crop wild relatives and landraces. Addressing these limitations will be crucial to fully enhance the role of public sector breeders in helping to adapt vulnerable agricultural systems to the challenges of climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: genetic resources; plant breeding; climate change adaptation; genebanks; policy; developing countries genetic resources; plant breeding; climate change adaptation; genebanks; policy; developing countries
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MDPI and ACS Style

Galluzzi, G.; Seyoum, A.; Halewood, M.; López Noriega, I.; Welch, E.W. The Role of Genetic Resources in Breeding for Climate Change: The Case of Public Breeding Programmes in Eighteen Developing Countries. Plants 2020, 9, 1129. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091129

AMA Style

Galluzzi G, Seyoum A, Halewood M, López Noriega I, Welch EW. The Role of Genetic Resources in Breeding for Climate Change: The Case of Public Breeding Programmes in Eighteen Developing Countries. Plants. 2020; 9(9):1129. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091129

Chicago/Turabian Style

Galluzzi, Gea, Aseffa Seyoum, Michael Halewood, Isabel López Noriega, and Eric W. Welch 2020. "The Role of Genetic Resources in Breeding for Climate Change: The Case of Public Breeding Programmes in Eighteen Developing Countries" Plants 9, no. 9: 1129. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9091129

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