Breeding Approaches to Increasing Water-Use Efficiency

Lianne Merchuk*, Yehoshua Saranga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Global agriculture is challenged to produce more food for the expanding world population while facing the looming global climate change and water crisis, which calls for genetic improvement of crop water-use efficiency (WUE). In this chapter we discuss alternative methodologies to estimate WUE and their application in crop breeding, review the inheritance of WUE, and describe the implementation of classical, molecular and transgenic approaches to improve WUE and elucidate its underlying mechanisms. Past efforts to improve crop WUE yielded very little success. Nevertheless, the existence of genetic diversity for WUE, together with recent developments in the area of plant physiology and genomics, make the improvement of WUE more feasible in the coming decades.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationImproving Water and Nutrient-Use Efficiency in Food Production Systems
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780813819891
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2013


  • Classical breeding
  • Heritability
  • Molecular breeding
  • Transgenic


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