Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012
Time: 9:00 AM
Time: 9:00 AM
Room: Royal Palm Salon 5-6
Plant breeding approaches have considerable potential with respect to both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Grasslands form a significant proportion of the land surface of the earth and are important with respect to the delivery of a range of ecosytems services: food, feed and fibre but also, for example, clean water, biodiversity and carbon sequestration. Thus the breeding of grassland crops brings great opportunities. At IBERS we have focused on the improvement of temperate forages in particular perennial ryegrass, white clover and red clover. Changes in plant composition can improve the efficiency of processes in ruminant animals leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions (nitrous oxide and methane). The efficiency of the use of soil nitrogen and phosphorus is an important objective to reduce diffuse pollution of waterways and allow reductions in fertiliser use. We are developing marker based approaches to improving N and P acquisition and utilisation efficiencies. Other approaches to reducing losses focus on the role of the enzyme polyphenol oxidase in red clover and also the potential to reduce nitrate leaching. At the same time, enhancing drought tolerance and water use efficiency are important aims with respect to climate change adaptation and the use of inntergeneric and interspecific hybrids in Festulolium and Trifolium shows significant potential here. New approaches to linking genotype-phenotype including genome wide selection and the use of phenomics will be outlined.