How can we improve crop genotypes to increase stress resilience and productivity in a future climate? A new crop screening method based on productivity and resistance to abiotic stress
The need to accelerate the selection of crop genotypes that are both resistant to and productive under abiotic stress is enhanced by global warming and the increase in demand for food by a growing world population. In this paper, we propose a new method for evaluation of wheat genotypes in terms of their resilience to stress and their production capacity. The method quantifies the components of a new index related to yield under abiotic stress based on previously developed stress indices, namely the stress susceptibility index, the stress tolerance index, the mean production index, the geometric mean production index, and the tolerance index, which were created originally to evaluate drought adaptation. The method, based on a scoring scale, offers simple and easy visualization and identification of resilient, productive and/or contrasting genotypes according to grain yield. This new selection method could help breeders and researchers by defining clear and strong criteria to identify genotypes with high resilience and high productivity and provide a clear visualization of contrasts in terms of grain yield production under stress. It is also expected that this methodology will reduce the time required for first selection and the number of first-selected genotypes for further evaluation by breeders and provide a basis for appropriate comparisons of genotypes that would help reveal the biology behind high stress productivity of crops.