Closing the Biotic and Abiotic Stress-Mediated Yield Gap in Cotton by Improving Soil Management and Agronomic Practices



Intensive agricultural practices in conjunction with climate change in the recent past have resulted in outbreaks of abiotic and biotic stresses that pose challenges to modern cotton farming systems around the world. Even with improved transgenic cotton varieties, the average lint yield realised in developing (India) and developed countries (Australia) is about 500 and 2500 kg/ha, respectively, compared with theoretical potential yield of 5000 kg/ha. The yield gap is largely associated with many factors being out of balance in the soil and crop management and climate that induce these biotic and abiotic stresses which impacts on the yield. Filling this yield gap requires a joint venture among various agricultural disciplines that include agronomy, soil science, physiology and molecular biology. Several major research projects have aimed to increase yield, and they are related to management of stress and development of stress-tolerant cotton varieties. Bt cotton and herbicide-tolerant cotton are example outcomes from research conducted to alleviate biotic stress. This review briefly describes the major abiotic and biotic stresses in cotton production. Thereafter, the role of soil and agronomic practices in stress management is outlined. This chapter covers drought stress, temperature stress and the major pathogenic stresses and provides appropriate management strategies. This review will be useful broadly to the plant science community, especially physiologists and molecular biologists who will be encouraged to design their research projects based on field realities, considering soil characteristics and agronomic practices.


Combined stress Agricultural production Yield gap Cotton agronomy  Drought Pathogen 



We acknowledge Senthil-Kumar Muthappa and book chapter reviewers for their valuable feedback and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer (India) Pvt. Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New South Wales Department of Primary IndustriesAustralian Cotton Research InstituteNarrabriAustralia
  2. 2.New South Wales Department of Primary IndustriesTamworth Agricultural InstituteCalalaAustralia

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