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Assessment of plant genetic resources for water-use efficiency (WUE) : managing water scarcity

Workshop Marrakech, Morocco, 10–12 October 2005 (Bioversity International)

Titre : Assessment of plant genetic resources for water-use efficiency (WUE) : managing water scarcity

Proceedings of the Bioversity International/INRA/IDRC/AARINENA Workshop for North Africa and West Asia, Marrakech, Morocco, 10–12 October 2005

Editor : A. Bari, scientific editor
Publisher : Bioversity International
Date de parution : 2007
Pages : 97

This document presents the proceedings of an inter-agency workshop dedicated to tackling the issue of water-use efficiency and water scarcity. Issues discussed relate to methods of managing water in agriculture, exploring opportunities for saving water and improving productivity by utilizing genetic resources, as well as other agronomic measures.
The document is divided into three sections : the first section addresses themes related to water availability, current and future water needs, and water scarcity. The second section focuses on research strategies for a more efficient use of water resources - particularly in olive orchards - while the third section details the potential of genetic resources to manage water scarcity. It also addresses innovative approaches towards exploring the valuable genetic variation within crops, especially olives and almonds. The aim of the undertaking is to facilitate assessment of genetic variation for WUE and measurement of water requirements at the genotypic level, rather than simply at the crop level.
Assessing plant genetic resources for complex traits such as those concerning water-use efficiency requires large numbers of samples to be taken. Lack of development of rapid, costeffective methods has hindered the use of WUE in practice and breeding. The effectiveness of characterization is also hindered by the lack of novel ‘smart and rapid screens’ needed to identify desirable traits in a cost-effective manner.
The overview of concepts such as quantitative methods to model traits associated with water-use efficiency can also help in narrowing the phenotype gap.
The overall aim of this text is to enhance the use of diversity through characterization, using novel approaches in order to improve productivity, and to ensure that knowledge about ongoing research on efficient water-use of plant genetic resources is readily available to all stakeholders.

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