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Identifying and screening genetic resources for the development of drought tolerant annual legume crops

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Title: Identifying and screening genetic resources for the development of drought tolerant annual legume crops
Author: Small, Finlay
Department: Department of Plant Agriculture
Program: Plant Agriculture
Advisor: Raizada, Manish
Abstract: An extreme dry-season in Nepal and throughout most of the sub-tropics globally motivates farmers to use drought-tolerant crops that also improve soil fertility on sloping agricultural terraces and provide fodder for livestock at a critical time. Native leguminous plants that grow during the dry season are thought to have more adaptive traits compared to introduced genotypes. To begin to test this hypothesis in the context of Nepal, a literature review, field site visits, and a survey informed the selection of candidate leguminous cover crop species for future selection. To facilitate future testing of these plants, a customized irrigation apparatus was built to improve drought tolerance screening. The system was validated using Nepalese common vetch (Vicia sativa). The apparatus was also used to phenotype drought acclimation responses of farmer maintained lentil (Lens culinaris) genotypes from Nepal and reference elite genotypes from Canada. The Nepalese genotypes demonstrated a diverse set of adaptive traits that help to explain their resiliency during drought.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/12324
Date: 2017-12


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