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"Genetic engineering and molecular physiology approaches for improving nitrogen use efficiency in cereals using maize as a model crop"

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Thursday 01 September 2016, 14:00 - 15:30


In this presentation, we provide an overview on the recent developments and future prospects for improving nitrogen (N) use efficiency (NUE) in cereals with a particular emphasis on maize and wheat using various complementary agronomic, breeding, molecular genetics, whole plant physiology and metabolic modeling approaches. Irrespective of the N fertilization mode, an increased knowledge of the mechanisms controlling plant N economy is essential for improving NUE and for reducing excessive input of fertilizers, while maintaining an acceptable yield and sufficient profit margin for the farmers. It is now possible to develop further whole plant agronomic and physiological studies. These can be combined with gene, protein and metabolite profiling to build up a comprehensive picture depicting the different steps of N uptake, assimilation and recycling to produce either biomass in vegetative organs or proteins in storage organs. We provide a critical overview to show how our understanding of the agro-ecophysiological, physiological and molecular controls of N assimilation in crops, under varying environmental conditions, has been advanced. We have used combined approaches, based on agronomic studies, whole plant physiology, quantitative genetics, forward and reverse genetics and the emerging genome scale modeling approaches. Current knowledge and prospects for selecting maize and wheat genotypes adapted to lower N fertilizer input and for identifying biological markers representative of the plant N status for breeding and agronomic purposes are explored.

Location Jozef Schell seminar room
Contact Prof Bertrand Hirel
Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique
Centre de Versailles-Grignon