Genetic Manipulation in Plants for Mitigation of Climate Change

pp 117-142


Enhancing Nutrient Starvation Tolerance in Rice

  • K. K. VinodAffiliated withDivision of Genetics, ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute Email author 

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Nutrient starvation occurs in plants either by the insufficiency of nutrients in the soil or by their unavailability in plant absorbable form. Nutrient malnutrition is an age-old problem, aggravated by the human demand for more food which had led to the development of nutrient-hungry crop varieties. Ironically, what once lauded as a boon to mankind, the intensive agriculture, is turning to be a multifaceted bane in the form of depletion of natural reserves of inorganic fertilisers, price rise of farm inputs, environmental degradation due to nutrient residues and socio-economic and political divide among farming communities and nations. With the low availability of nutrients, plants are subjected to tremendous stress that jeopardises their normal physiology and survival itself. Rice, the major staple crop on earth is set to suffer any or all of the above problems in the near future. Immediate reduction of fertiliser input is the only viable solution to this problem, but it is going to trigger low production from farmlands. Therefore, nutrient input reduction should be done in conjunction with the development of low nutrient happy rice varieties. There is enough variability for nutrient response within the rice gene pool including low nutrient tolerance, which is to be tapped for the development of new varieties. In addition, low nutrient tolerant varieties can help in producing the best out of marginal lands that are rendered unsuitable for high-yielding varieties due to low nutrient status. This chapter overviews the developments in breeding towards nutrient deficiency tolerant rice varieties as a sustainable solution for future agriculture.


Rice Low nutrient stress Nutrient deficiency tolerance Breeding