Environmental Stress In Plants

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Plants have to deal and interact with various complex types of environmental factors. Exposure of plants to abiotic and biotic stress induces a disruption in plant metabolism implying physiological costs (Bolton, 2009; Massad et al., 2012) and thus leading to a reduction in productivity (Shao et al., 2008). Environmental stress is one of the most important features which have enormous impact on growth and yield potential of crops. Consequently, it is responsible for severe losses in the field. Only 10% of the total arable land across the globe fall under non-stress category, crops raised on rest of the cultivable lands are subjected to one or more abiotic stresses (Dita et al., 2006). Response and adaptation in order to survive and reproduce…show more content…
that are cultivated as food and fodder crops, primarily grown on poor and marginal lands in dry areas of temperate, subtropical and tropical regions across the globe (Dwivedi et al., 2012; Lata et al., 2013). Millets characteristically adapt to unfavorable ecological conditions including abiotic and biotic stresses, demand least inputs and have remarkable nutritional properties. Barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.), also known as Billion dollar grass, Madira, Jhangora or Sawan is the second most important millet crop after finger millet both in terms of acreage and production in the CHR. The area under small millets has been steadily sliding down during last 3 decades and in recent years the pace of decline has been much faster (Joshi, 2013). Barnyard millet (Echinochloa spp.) form main stay of diet and cultural system of hill people in the CHR (Kumar et al., 2007). It is the fastest growing crop among all millets and can be harvested in a short period of nine weeks. The crop is valued for its drought tolerance, good yield and superior nutritional value (Prabha et. al., 2010). Despite their significance, millets have largely been an under researched crop commodity as they are considered minor cereal crops of only regional importance, and hence little attention has been given for evaluation of available diversity for use in crop improvement as compared to other staple cereals. Since millets are grown in low-input, rain-fed agriculture system, they tend to suffer from drought spells due to scarce, untimely and irregular rainfall that ultimately becomes major constraint for crop yield. Therefore, evaluation of whole germplasm in the field will be practical strategy to screen out trait specific germplasm for crop improvement, climate pliant agriculture as well as cultivation in

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