Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 1–35 | Cite as

Breeding approaches and genomics technologies to increase crop yield under low-temperature stress

  • Uday Chand Jha
  • Abhishek Bohra
  • Rintu Jha


Key message

Improved knowledge about plant cold stress tolerance offered by modern omics technologies will greatly inform future crop improvement strategies that aim to breed cultivars yielding substantially high under low-temperature conditions.


Alarmingly rising temperature extremities present a substantial impediment to the projected target of 70% more food production by 2050. Low-temperature (LT) stress severely constrains crop production worldwide, thereby demanding an urgent yet sustainable solution. Considerable research progress has been achieved on this front. Here, we review the crucial cellular and metabolic alterations in plants that follow LT stress along with the signal transduction and the regulatory network describing the plant cold tolerance. The significance of plant genetic resources to expand the genetic base of breeding programmes with regard to cold tolerance is highlighted. Also, the genetic architecture of cold tolerance trait as elucidated by conventional QTL mapping and genome-wide association mapping is described. Further, global expression profiling techniques including RNA-Seq along with diverse omics platforms are briefly discussed to better understand the underlying mechanism and prioritize the candidate gene (s) for downstream applications. These latest additions to breeders’ toolbox hold immense potential to support plant breeding schemes that seek development of LT-tolerant cultivars. High-yielding cultivars endowed with greater cold tolerance are urgently required to sustain the crop yield under conditions severely challenged by low-temperature.


Cold tolerance Genomics QTL Genetic resource 



The authors acknowledge the support from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, India. We also apologize that other LT related references could not be cited due to space constraints.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. No financial help is taken for writing this manuscript.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Pulses ResearchKanpurIndia

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