Soil erosionl





Stress management in sheep:

Ameliorative measures to combat water stress in sheep:

Feeding of @ 1 kg Opuntia (prickly pear cactus) per animal per day compensated mild water restriction up to 1 L without any significant effect on feed intake in adult sheep during summer. Opuntia could provide 0.88 L of water, increases N retention and also meets nutrient requirement of the animals. This is an effective alternative in arid areas where low rainfall leads to drought and acute water shortage.

 Cactus plant  Cactus feeding to sheep

Special shelter to protect sheep from heat stress has been designed and constructed. This multi-storey-type design is conceptualised by looking at Hindu rituals ‘Yangya’ conducted in such designed house where people at and around ‘Yangya Sthal’ doesn’t feel the heat of fire, which emitted at top giving a relatively cool atmosphere at the ground. In this, the house (40’×20×24’) is made up of two-line brick walls (4‘ height), the centre being filled with sand and is fitted with water pipes having holes that allows simulated water drops to make the sand layer wet and to maintain a cool atmosphere and desired humidity level, which generally is lacking in arid and semi-arid regions. The first year observation during May, 2013 on temperature-humidity pattern shows encouraging results.




Yangya-type shed for to protect from summer stress




Amelioration of climatic stress through shelter management:

Special shelter to protect lamb from cold stress has been designed and constructed. These shelters were found to be providing optimal micro environment for better production from sheep.

 Pucca shelter to protect lamb from cold stress  Make shift shelter to protect lamb from cold stress








Phenotyping for drought and heat stress tolerance in wheat

Phenotyping of core set of wheat:

A set of 145 lines was evaluated at two locations (IARI, New Delhi and Pune) and phenotyping was carried out for a number of traits. Data on germination, days to heading (DH), yield, thousand kernel weight (TKW), days to maturity (DM), canopy temperature depression (CTD), chlorophyll content, relative water content, flag leaf area, NDVI, SPAD and yield was recorded. Significant correlations were observed between DH and DM, yield and DH (negative), TKW with DH, DM and yield, CT with DM and yield (negative) and CTD with DH and yield and negative correlation with CT.

Parental polymorphism studies in wheat:

Twenty three genotypes were selected for parental polymorphism studies based on their differential response to drought and heat under glass house and field conditions. DNA was isolated from these genotypes following standard protocols. The genotypes were screened with wheat microsatellite primers - cfd, cfa, cfb, barc, gwm, gdm and wmc series. Microsatellite markers had already been mapped and information was obtained from Markers covering a minimum of 10cM distance and distributed over different arms of all the 21 chromosomes had been included. A total of 450 microsatellite markers had been used and approximately two hundred polymorphic markers were observed among them. These polymorphic markers will be screened on the mapping populations to identify progenies which are drought and heat tolerant. These would also be used for recovery of background genome in backcross populations.


Marker validation and development of backcross populations:

Data on all the identified QTLs in wheat was collected and more than 200 microsatellite markers were selected associated with physiological, phenological and agronomic traits. These microsatellite markers are being screened on the parents of the backcross generations for introgression of the QTLs. The identification of polymorphic markers is in progress. Five physiological traits are targeted covering 17 chromosomes for identification of known QTLs in Indian backgrounds. These include canopy temperature with known QTLs on 15 Chromosomes (1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A,4B, 5A, 5B, 6A, 6B, 6D, 7A,7B), NDVI on 3 chrs (2A, 2B and 4A), chlorophyll content on15 chrs (1A,1B,1D, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4B, 5A, 5B, 6A, 6B, 6D, 7A and 7B), WSC on 17 chrs (1A,1B,1D,2A, 2B, 2D, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4D, 5A, 5B, 6B, 6D, 7A and 7B), stay-green on 3chrs (1A,3B and 7D). Apart from this, QTLs for yield traits on chromosomes 2B, 3B, 4A,4B 5A, 6A, and 6B under moisture stress and heat stress conditions were also targeted.Around sixty QTLs linked to the physiological and yield traits covering 17 chromosomes were targeted for validation in Indian parents and then their introgression through marker assisted backcross breeding. They have been genotypically screened and their phenotypic correlation is being carried out. Ten SSR markers linked to QTLs for moisture stress traits were able to differentiate the contrasting parents. The elite Indian parents are HD 2733 and GW 322 from the North Western Plains Zone and Central and North Eastern Plains Zones,representing more than 10 million hectares of the total 29 million hectares sown to wheat in India. F1s were backcrossed with Indian parents to develop BC1F1 generations. Backcrosses have been attempted with Indian as well international donor parents to introgress traits related to moisture and heat stress in the recurrent parents. Among these sixteen backcrosses and 25 new crosses, few crosses will be advanced further depending upon the population size and availability of markers in foreground selection.





Climate Research Infrastructure:

One of the key objectives of the project is to build state of the art infrastructure for climate change research at core institutes. While the 100 Automatic Weather Stations and Central Data Server has already become functional, the four Phenomics platforms and three Free Air Temperature Elevation (FATE) and two CTGC facilities are at final stages of commissioning and testing. The CO2 growth chambers, walk in environmental chambers, Eddy Covariance Flux Towers and Satellite receiving stations have already started functioning. Experimental shipping vessel and animal calorie meter are under fabrication. All the 5 GHG analysers have been installed and started functioning.

High throughput Plant Phenomics plat forms (CRIDA, ICAR-NEH, IIHR, IARI)


FATE and CTGC facilities (ICAR-NEH, IIHR, CRIDA)

Rainout Shelter (CAZRI, NBPGR, ICAR-NEH)

Temperature Gradient Tunnel -TGT (NRCAF, DRR)


Custom-designed Animal Shelter (NDRI)


Environment Controlled Poultry House (TANUVAS)


FRV Silver Pompano (CMFRI)

Fish Phenology Lab


Eddy Covariance System (CRRI, IARI)

Biochar Unit (ICAR-NEH)


Bowen ratio tower (DWM)


Satellite data reception system (IARI)



Enhancing tolerance in horticultural crops to climatic stresses

At IIHR, phenotyping for drought and high temperature was carried out in a set of previously identified genotypes. The approach of inter-specific grafting was focussed upon for enhancing flood tolerance in tomato.

High temperature tolerance in tomato

Forty two tomato genotypes were screened for drought tolerance under both field and pot culture conditions. Under field conditions water stress was imposed at flowering and fruiting stages by withholding irrigation for 45 days. In pot culture water stress was imposed for 7 days at vegetative stage. Of these 42 genotypes, 12 genotypes were screened for drought tolerance based on morpho-physiological observations. Further, these 12 genotypes viz., 15-SB, IIHR 2195, IIHR 2201, IIHR 2327, IIHR 2336, IIHR 2338, IIHR 2777, Arka Meghali, Arka Vikas, Vybhav, Pusa Ruby, RF4A were evaluated for water stress. Water stress was imposed for 14 days under pot culture. Morphological observations like plant height, root length, number of branches, flowers and fruits were taken. Physiological observations such as gas exchange parameters, relative water content, electrolyte leakage and total
chlorophyll content were estimated. Observations on recovery were taken three days after release of stress. RF4A, IIHR 2195, IIHR 2201, Arka Meghali and Vybhav showed tolerance to water stress and recovered quickly. IIHR 2201 showed highest percentage of relative water content and leaf water potential. RF4A showed very less percentage of electrolyte leakage (better membrane stability index).

Incorporation of heat and drought tolerance in desirable genetic background

Hybrid of heat tolerant line (IIHR-2853) and drought tolerant line (RF4A) of tomato were raised during the period of report. F2 seeds were collected to develop mapping populations for marker identification. Backcrosses were also attempted with both the parents and seeds of both the back crosses were also collected to transfer heat and drought tolerance in to parental lines. In order to transfer heat tolerance in to desirable genetic back ground, hybrids (IIHR-2852 x 12-21, IIHR-2853 x 12-21, IIHR-2853 x 12-21, IIHR-2853 x 38-7 and IIHR-2853 x Arka Vikas) involving heat tolerant lines (IIHR-2852 & IIHR-2853) were also raised and back cross seeds with recurrent parents were collected. A field trial was taken up with tomato hybrid Arka Rakshak at three locations viz. Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Bellary during summer 2013 to evaluate for heat tolerance.

Screening for heat tolerance:

Six tomato F1 hybrids were evaluated for heat tolerance during early summer 2013. Three hybrids viz; H-329 (56 t ha-1), plate 1, H-363 (48 tha-1) & H-367 (53t/ha) out yielded commercial hybrids NS-501 (43 t ha-1) & To- 1389 (26 t ha-1). Preliminary studies revealed that an advanced breeding line BC1F126-9-33-4-4-3-3 (45 t ha-1) was also found to have drought tolerance. A set of seven lines viz. Arka Meghali, Vybhav, IIHR 2777, IIHR 2274, IIHR 2190, IIHR 2201, IIHR 2338 and two hybrids viz. Arka Rakshak and Arka Samrat were screened in polyhouse conditions, where temperature build up during the day was recorded in the range of 35-52°C. Based on percentage survival IIHR 2274 (93.33%) and IIHR 2201 (86.66%) turned out to be the best at elevated temperatures.





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