There is an urgent need to enhance agricultural production as well as productivity to meet the food demand of the growing population, estimated to be 10 billion by 2050, using a holistic and sustainable approach. The daily food sources for almost three-fourth of the global population, cereals and millets, are prone to several biotic factors and abiotic pressures. In particular, cereals and millet cultivation are limited by the polyphagous pink stem borer, Sesamia inferens Walker (Lepidoptera:Noctuidae) gaining national importance, since its larvae and pupae are concealed within the stem, none of the management measures have been found effective in controlling the menace. However, host plant resistance (HPR) is a reasonable and ecologically safe method wherein resistance mechanisms of crops could lower the stem borer infestation. The foremost challenge in understanding the mechanism would be to detecting the genes of interest in the crop using novel biotechnological approaches. The fundamental criterion for developing insect-resistant lines relies on recognizing the mechanism of plant resistance. The entire life cycle of this group of borers is completed or hidden within the stem, posing a hurdle in their management. Thus, molecular markers and Quantitative Trait Locus (QTL) mapping offer a more efficient approach to entomologists and plant breeders wherein they can work with traits like QTLs for stem borer resistance. In this review, an attempt has been made to provide an extensive summary of the host range and crop losses due to this borer, besides its taxonomic position, geographic distribution, bionomics, genetics of resistance, and molecular perspectives.
Increase in global warming poses a severe threat on agricultural production thereby affecting food security. A drastic reduction in yield at elevated temperature is a resultant of several agro-morphological, physiological and biochemical modifications in plants. Heat tolerance is a complex mechanism under polygenic inheritance. Development of tolerant genotypes suited to heat extremes will be more advantageous to tropical and sub tropical regimes. A clear understanding on heat tolerance mechanism is needed for bringing trait based improvement in a crop species. Heat tolerance is often correlated with undesirable traits which limits the economic yield. In addition, high environmental interactions coupled with poor phenotyping techniques limit the progress of breeding programme. Recent advances in molecular technique led to precise introgression of thermo-tolerant genes into elite genetic background which has been reviewed briefly in this chapter.
Horse gram is one of the lesser-known beans widely grown in India. One hundred and twenty-three homozygous horse gram mutants were screened for powdery mildew (PM) disease resistance using the grade 0 to 4. The mutants were grouped based on the disease level of 0 to 2 (resistant) and susceptible (3 to 4). The PM altered the chlorophyll fluorescence (a/b ratio), maturity duration, and yield attributing traits. The yield loss ranged from 4.55% to 72.66%. After affirming the resistance level, the resistant mutant (RM) with minimum yield loss (scale:0) and the susceptible mutant (SM) with maximum loss (scale:4) were used for metabolomic analysis through GC-MS. PM infection induced expression of 66 metabolites representing 32 functional classes. The number of unique classes in RM and SM was 13 and 11, respectively, while eight were common. A fold change in the common metabolites indicated an enhanced accumulation of amine, alcohol, and ester in RM. Along with pathogen-induced defensive metabolites, RM produced silane and fluorene, whose biological significance in disease resistance is unknown. Though SM expressed defence-related bio-molecules, it failed to yield better.
Aroma in rice is unique and a superior grain quality trait, varieties especially Basmati and Jasmine-type are fetching a high export price in the International markets. Among the identified volatile aroma compounds, 2AP (2 acetyl-1-pyrroline) is believed to be the distinctive biochemical compound contributing the flavor in rice. Genetically, aroma in rice arises by the phenotypic expression of spontaneous recessive mutations of the OsBadh2 gene (also known as fgr/badh2 /osbadh2/os2AP gene) which was mapped on chromosome 8. An 8-bp deletion in the exon 7 of this gene was reported to result in truncation of betaine aldehyde dehydrogenease enzyme whose loss-of-function lead to the accumulation of a major aromatic compound (2AP) in fragrant rice. Among the different sampling methods and analytical techniques for the extraction and quantification of scentedness, simultaneous distillation extraction (SDE) is traditional and normalized, whereas solid-phase micro extraction (SPME) and supercritical fluid extraction (SFE) are new, very simple, rapid, efficient and most importantly solvent-free methods. These methods are coupled with Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry (GC–MS), Gas Chromatography-Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID) and/or Gas chromatography olfactometry (GC-O) and also with sensory evaluation for readily examining 2AP compound found in rice. The major factor affecting the aroma in rice was their genetic makeup. However, the aroma quality may be differed due to different planting, pre-harvest and postharvest handling and storage. For a more extensive elucidation of all effective and fundamental factors contributing to fragrance, it is essential to explore target quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and their inheritance and locations.
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