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Novel crop science to improve yield and resource use efficiency in water-limited agriculture

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 December 2010

Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK
Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Road, Hong Kong, China
Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Physiology of Jiangsu Province, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China
Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK
*To whom all correspondence should be addressed. Email:


Globally, agriculture accounts for 0·80–0·90 of all freshwater used by humans and, in many crop production systems, this water use is unsustainable. The current paper focuses on the potential exploitation of novel drought stress biology in both crop improvement programmes and via changed crop management practices. The aim is to deliver ‘more crop per drop’. In order to respond to the challenge of feeding a world population of seven billion and growing, it is concluded that an interdisciplinary approach is needed involving new genetic opportunities and plant breeding. It is also shown how crop management can exploit the drought stress physiology of plants to deliver improved water productivity without sacrificing crop yield.

Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

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