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An integrated research framework combining genomics, systems biology, physiology, modelling and breeding for legume improvement in response to elevated CO2 under climate change scenario

Palit, Paramita, Kudapa, Himabindu, Zougmore, Robert, Kholova, Jana, Whitbread, Anthony, Sharma, Mamta, Varshney, Rajeev K
Current plant biology 2020 v.22 pp. 100149
C3 plants, C4 plants, biocenosis, biomass, carbon, carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide enrichment, climate change, climatic factors, crop models, crops, ecosystem services, ecosystems, farming systems, genomics, invasive species, legumes, multiomics, phenotype, photorespiration, planning, plant breeding, prediction, systems engineering
How unprecedented changes in climatic conditions will impact yield and productivity of some crops and their response to existing stresses, abiotic and biotic interactions is a key global concern. Climate change can also alter natural species’ abundance and distribution or favor invasive species, which in turn can modify ecosystem dynamics and the provisioning of ecosystem services. Basic anatomical differences in C₃ and C₄ plants lead to their varied responses to climate variations. In plants having a C₃ pathway of photosynthesis, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO₂) positively regulates photosynthetic carbon (C) assimilation and depresses photorespiration. Legumes being C₃ plants, they may be in a favorable position to increase biomass and yield through various strategies. This paper comprehensively presents recent progress made in the physiological and molecular attributes in plants with special emphasis on legumes under elevated CO₂ conditions in a climate change scenario. A strategic research framework for future action integrating genomics, systems biology, physiology and crop modelling approaches to cope with changing climate is also discussed. Advances in sequencing and phenotyping methodologies make it possible to use vast genetic and genomic resources by deploying high resolution phenotyping coupled with high throughput multi-omics approaches for trait improvement. Integrated crop modelling studies focusing on farming systems design and management, prediction of climate impacts and disease forecasting may also help in planning adaptation. Hence, an integrated research framework combining genomics, plant molecular physiology, crop breeding, systems biology and integrated crop-soil-climate modelling will be very effective to cope with climate change.