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2024 Speakers

Ajaz A Lone

Ajaz A Lone, Speaker at Plant Science Conferences
Sher-E-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences &Technology of Kashmir India, India
Title : Breeding climate smart pulses


It is estimated that the planet’s demand for food and feed crops will almost double by 2050. Globally, rainfed agriculture is practised in 80% of the total agricultural area and generates 62% of the world’s staple food. Farmers are advised to use climate-resilient crops and crop types as a means of coping with or adapting to climate change. As the primary source of protein and minerals for vegetarians, pulses are typically grown on marginal land with minimal inputs in a number of resource-poor nations around the world. They are subjected to a variety of abiotic and biotic challenges as a result of their growing in resource-limited circumstances, which results in severe production losses. Germplasm, genotyping and phenotyping, combined with a clear definition of product targets, are the foundation of a successful crop breeding programme on long term basis. Breeding crop genotypes with superior yield for the climatically challenging regions of the region involves integration of multiple drought-specific technologies together with all of the other technology components that comprise a successful crop breeding programme. Drought has major implications for regional crop production because of the expected effects of gradual climate change happening since last decade observed with respect to erratic rainfall distribution pattern during major part of crop life cycle. Germplasm of diverse nature serves as a base for devising any drought oriented breeding programme. Characterization of genetic diversity for drought resistance and identification of novel germplasm is the first step for conventional breeding, genomics-assisted plant breeding and functional analysis of the genes involved in various pathways associated drought stress responses. Although final yield returns under drought stress is the primary trait for measurement of drought resistance in many crops, secondary traits may be particularly suited to improving selection response to stress conditions. Desirable screening methods based on secondary traits should be established to effectively trace out target phenomes in quickest possible time. Selection for improved performance under drought based on grain yield alone has often been considered inefficient, but the use of secondary traits of adaptive value whose genetic variability increases under drought can increase selection efficiency. Root screening has proved to be effective tool in culling out poor genotypes with respect to drought. Highest positive correlation was observed between root biomass and yield of inbred lines or purelines in artificially controlled conditions. The similar trend was also observed in field trials indicating relevance of root architecture with yield performance under drought stress. The positive inbreds and purelines for the drought trait also performed excellently in single cross combinations across multi environmental rainfed situations.

Key words: Pulses, Drought, Resilience


Dr Ajaz A Lone completed his Ph D in Genetics and Plant Breeding from G B Pant University of Agriculture University, Pantnagar during 2006. Recipient / qualified national exams like GATE, ICAR-NET, CSIR-NET and Graduate Assistance ship. Visiting scientist to R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Center, Mississippi State University, USA during 2016-17. Joined as Assistant Professor in Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agriculture & Technology of Kashmir in 2007. Since then involved in crop breeding research in Pulses and Maize. Involved in development of several crop varieties in Maize and Pulses at state and national level. Credited with development of promising pre breeding lines and documented and deposited in national repository (>85). Also involved in teaching of undergraduate and post graduate students enrolled in different academic programmes. Involved in mentoring post graduate students leading to their respective fulfilment of their professional degree programmes. Actively involved in participatory extension research across Kashmir valley. Published more than 170 papers in journals of national and international repute and also presented his research in different conferences nationally and internationally in different countries including India, USA, China, Egypt and Thialand. Also published 3 books and numerous research manuals, Book Chapters and drafted many university publications. Also credited with various Fellowships including Raman Post Doctorial Fellowship, CIMMYT-Mexico Sponsorship, Borlouge Sponsorship and SERB International Fellowship (twice). Successfully executed various research projects sponsored by UGC, NAIP,NMHS, RKVY, DST, PPV & FRA and DoPR. Currently working as Professor cum Chief Scientist in the field of Genetics and Plant Breeding (AICPR-Pulses). Succesfully completed two months post doctorial fellowship programme at Akdeniz University, Antalya Turkiye during 2022.

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