He Zhonghu; Xia Xianchun; Peng, S.; Lumpkin, T.A.
Meeting demands for increased cereal production in China is a great challenge and this paper provides updated information on cereal production and the potential adaptation of cropping systems to climate change, as well as on progress in improving yield potential and developing molecular markers and GM cereals in China. Maize production and soybean imports are increasing significantly to meet the strong demand for feed by a rapidly growing livestock industry. Extension of the rice and maize growing seasons in northeastern China and improvement of the cropping system through delayed wheat planting have contributed to improving cereal productivity despite changing climatic conditions. Significant improvements in yield potential of rice, maize, and wheat have been achieved. Comparative genomics has been successfully used to develop and validate functional markers for processing quality traits in wheat, and also for developing new varieties. Although transgenic Bt rice and maize, and maize expressing phytase have been developed, their commercialization has not been officially permitted. International collaboration has contributed significantly to cereal production by providing germplasm and improved crop management practices. Full integration of applied molecular technologies into conventional breeding programs and promotion of lower-input technologies, will play a key role in increasing and sustaining future cereal production.