Sustainability and productivity of crop production systems to a large extent depend on water and nutrient use efficiency. This holds true especially against the background of climate change. Using effective screening techniques, plant genetic resources are analyzed with respect to tolerance against drought and nutrient deficiency, and the genetics of these traits is analyzed as well. Based on these results molecular markers are developed facilitating efficient marker based selection procedures and combination of positive traits.
Drought, heat, and cold are severely influencing yield and quality of crop plants and this impact will become even more important against the background of climate change. The interaction between crop plants and abiotic stress is complex depending on the onset, duration and intensity of respective stress factors and, in addition, tolerance of crop plants to abiotic stress is in general due to a network of different mechanisms.
Plant genetic resources of different crop species (wheat, barley, potato, soybean, faba bean and others) are analysed on the morphological and physiological level concerning their reaction to drought stress, heat, cold and nutrient deficiency. Based on these phenotypic data, markers are developed facilitating efficient indirect selection.
Global warming will not only influence yield and yield stability but will also affect quality and stability of quality of the products harvested. This holds true with respect to the use for food and feed purposes but also for use as re-newable resources. Changes of quality in crops related to abiotic stress are analyzed mainly using non-destructive high throughput technologies