Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences | JIRCAS

“Environmental Stress-Tolerant Crops” Development of breeding materials and basic breeding technologies for highly productive crops adaptable to adverse environments


There are concerns that global strains in supply and demand of food may occur in the medium to long terms, due to the increase in global population, the chronic malnutrition around the developing countries, the projected economic growth in emerging countries, the increasing abnormal weather.  In this situation, it is necessary to promote sustainable agricultural production activities of developing countries where the potential of agricultural production has not been fully exhibited.

In order to establish stable and sustainable production of agricultural crops in vulnerable developing countries to climate change, drought, high salinity, and poor soil, we are now working on development of breeding materials and basic breeding technologies for highly productive crops adaptable to such adverse environments. 

For rice, breeding materials which have high temperature resistance, drought tolerance, phosphate deficiency resistance, and high nitrogen use efficiency will be developed (Fig.1). For soybean, development of breeding materials which are tolerant to drought and high salinity will be undertaken (Fig.2). In addition, we will develop a non-GM crop production technology and a growth evaluation method in a greenhouse to mimic the stress conditions of farm fields. Further, we will work on the evaluation and utilization of genetic resources such as tomato, amaranth and quinoa for the development of crops with high nutritional value and tolerance to adverse environments.


Fig.1 Rice near-isogenic line with early-morning flowering trait that mitigates high temperature-induced sterility.


Fig.2 Soybean near-isogenic line with salt tolerance gene Ncl.