Gene technology and drought: A simple solution for a complex trait?
The successful use of gene technology for complex crop traits and responses to stress environments remains a challenging approach despite its potential. Stable crop yield in drought prone environments has been one of the most studied complex traits in recent years and transgenic crops with better performance have been repeatedly reported. We reviewed the experimental approach of contrasting case studies that report the enhancement of drought resistance in rice using various strategies. If the overall gene technology method is very similar in the different studies analyzed, the limited number of transgenic lines evaluated remains often a pitfall from a breeding perspective since it does not provide a robust assessment of the strategy. The protocols for plant evaluation and the parameters used to assess stress resistance are very different, which is a major limitation to literature mining. This clearly emphasizes the urgent need to define or redefine the major steps and criteria to meet better crop performance in the field, in particular for less favorable environments. We summarized some of these key parameters and we proposed some enabling solutions that can address crop breeding challenges.
African Journal of Biotechnology (2009) 8 (9) 1740-1749