Wheat Improvement Program combat in context with global cimate change

Makhdoom Hussain


Wheat Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan

Ghulam Mahboob Subhani, Javed Ahmad, Abid Mahmood



Global warming affects the environmental parameters of agro-based countries like temperature increase, melting of glaciers, floods, erratic rains, low temperature, frost and high temperature. As a result agriculture is becoming more vulnerable to global environmental shifts. In case of wheat, erratic or low rains badly affect the wheat crop of rainfed areas of the country along with high temperature at seedling or juvenile stage. Similarly, frost affects the early sown wheat crop in irrigated areas of Punjab. Lesser availability of irrigation water from water reservoirs also reduces the wheat crop productivity. Sudden increase in temperature (>30?C) during the month of March adversely affect the grain filling. High temperature during grain filling stage interferes with the photosynthetic activities of the plant due to enhanced maturity, grain become shriveled and results in low grain yield. The threat of these environmental changes can only be overcome through breeding with specific objectives which is cost effective once obtained.
Hence development of wheat varieties for frost, drought and heat tolerance is the only feasible solution to combat these stresses which is being used at Wheat Program of Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan. New emphasis is also being given to develop frost resistant wheat varieties due to changing scenario of last few years. The institute is actively involved for the development of heat, drought and frost tolerant wheat varieties. During working for tolerance against any of these stresses plant types to be breed are physiologically and morphologically modeled in such a way that they should be capable of tolerating respective stress. In addition to breeding work an extensive research is also being done at Wheat Research Institute, AARI., Faisalabad to investigate best agronomic strategies to make wheat crop best adapted to environmental stress conditions.