Sugarcane is long duration crop and, passing through unexpected climate changes of all the seasons which eventually have made our tropical sugarcane environment pre-disposed to abiotic stresses that affect sugarcane cane yield abysmally. Farmers cultivating sugarcane are facing multiple problems. Water is one of the major constraints and it is affecting the productivity and profitability of sugarcane growers and millers. So, unless sugarcane farmers are provided with options of high yields with much less water, India will find it difficult to meet its growing demand for sugar. Similarly flooding reduces shoot and root growth, dry matter production and total crop yield and cane yield losses depend upon the duration of waterlogging, stage of crop growth and management practices before, during and after waterlogging. In tropical climates, excess of radiation and high temperatures are often the most limiting factors affecting plant growth and final crop yield. In crop improvement perspective, effective identification of stress resistance traits, characterization of their genetic complexity and identification of genes in a wide array of both wild and cultivated genotypes are the important steps in breeding process. Though both the sugarcane and cotton crops show higher tolerance to abiotic stresses than the other major agricultural crops, however, extreme environmental conditions, such as drought and high temperature have an adverse effect on growth, productivity of both the crops, juice quality of sugarcane and fiber quality of cotton respectively. When a plant is subjected to abiotic stress, variety of genes are turned on, leading to increased levels of several proteins and metabolites, a number of which can be responsible for conferring a particular degree of protection to those stresses. This chapter gives an insight to sugarcane and cotton plants’ responses to various abiotic stresses, as well as the physiological and molecularinterventions for developing climate-smart commercial varieties, and agronomical interventions for sustaining the crop yield under changing climate.
Dr. R. Gomathi, Principal Scientist(Plant Physiology) having 23 years ofresearch experience in sugarcane physiology and molecular biology at ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Her research work on screening varieties and phenotyping for abiotic stresses, such as drought, salinity, high temperature, oxidative stress and waterlogging tolerance are highly noteworthy and has practicalrelevance. Dr. R. Gomathi has been associated with identifying 152 drought tolerant clones, of which 10 clones, namely Co 99004, Co 2001-13, Co 2001-15, Co 0218, Co 0403, Co 06027,Co 09004, Co 10026, Co 212 and Co 06022 have attained varietal status. She was instrumental in registration of genetic stocks for waterlogging tolerance (99WL 379) and for combined drought and high temperature tolerance (Co 06015). Awards: Recipient of 7 best paper awards and 1 best book award from National and International conferences, Scientist ofthe Year Award 2017-18 by SVWS, STAI Silver Medal Award, Mother Theresa Gold Medal Award from GEPRA and Professor M.S. Swaminathan Best Scientist Award forthe year 2018-19. She is the life time memberin 13 professional societies in which 7 fellow members (Academy of Science Chennai (FAC), STAI (FSTAI) andSED(FSED),India, NewDelhi,MemberinNASI(mNASI),Allahabad, UP, Bose Science Society (FBSS), Tamil Nadu, and Fellow of Indian Society of Plant Physiology (FISPP), New Delhi, Fellowship of Agricultural Scientific Tamil Society (FASTA), New Delhi.
Dr. A.H. Prakash, is serving for the past nine years as a Project Coordinator (Cotton Improvement), under ICAR- All India Coordinated Research Project, a Nodal agency assigned with Multilocation evaluation, Release and Monitoring of Cotton Varieties and Hybrids in India. As a Principal Scientist (Plant physiology) atICAR- Central Institute for CottonResearch, he has contributed in the area of plant ideotype, hormonal physiology, climate resilient agriculture and in vitro Fibre growth and development. For his dedicated and pioneering work for over 25 years in cotton, he was honoured with “Professional Excellence Award” during the year 2019, from Cotton Research and Development Association, India.
Dr. Bakshi Ram, presently, he is the Director of the country’s premier research organization-ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore.Dr. Bakshi Ram has the unique achievement of being the Directors of both the oldest sugarcane research organizations of the country, i.e. UP Council of Sugarcane Research, Shahjahanpur and ICAR-Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore established in 1912. His untiring and persistent efforts have resulted in the development and release of six early maturing (Co 98014, Co 0118, Co 0237, Co 0238, Co 0239 and Co 05009) and three midlate maturing varieties (Co 0124, Co 05011, and Co Aboutthe Authors v 06034) since 2007, which have been released by the Central Varietal Release Committee. Of these varieties, Co 0238 was largely adopted by both farmers and sugarindustry in the states of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Uttarakhand (more than 8.63 lakh ha during 2016-17). Apart from development of varieties, four genetic stocks [(Co 92002 (INGR08040, IC 556972), Co 93009 (INGR08041, IC 522951), Co 97016 (INGR09052, IC 565018) and Co 0120 (INGR09130, IC 565020)] have been registered with NBPGR, New Delhi. He had published extensively in National and International Journals of repute and has over 255 publications in the fields of sugarcane research and development. Honoured for developing Wonder Sugarcane Variety Co 0238 by Sh. Radha Mohan Singh, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare 2017; Global Agriculture Leadership Award - Development Leadership Award 2017; Noel Deerr Gold Medal Award 92017); STAI Silver Medal (2018 and 2019); Eminent Agriculture Scientist Award -GannaRatna (2019); Lifetime Achievement Award by National Federation of Co-operative Sugar Factories, New Delhi on March 15, 2019; Haryana Vigyan Ratna Award 2018 by Government of Haryana on February 28, 2019; Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award 2018 by ICAR and Agriculture Scientist for Outstanding ContributionAward 2020 at New Delhi; Fellow ofthe Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding;Fellow of Sugar Technologists’ Association of India; Fellow of National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS)