Developing crops that are better adapted to abiotic stresses is important for food production in many parts of the world today. Anticipated changes in climate and its variability, particularly extreme temperatures and changes in rainfall, are expected to make crop improvement even more crucial for food production. Here, we review two key biotechnology approaches, molecular breeding and genetic engineering, and their integration with conventional breeding to develop crops that are more tolerant of abiotic stresses. In addition to a multidisciplinary approach, we also examine some constraints that need to be overcome to realize the full potential of agricultural biotechnology for sustainable crop production to meet the demands of a projected world population of nine billion in 2050.
Varshney, R.K.; Bansal, K.C.; Aggarwal, P.K.; Datta, S.K.; Craufurd, P.Q. Agricultural biotechnology for crop improvement in a variable climate: hope or hype? Trends in Plant Science (2011) 16 (7) 363-371. [DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2011.03.004]