Type: Book

Developing drought-resistant cereals


Dr Roberto Tuberosa is Professor of Plant Biotechnology and Breeding in the Department of Agriculture and Food Science at the University of Bologna, Italy. Professor Tuberosa is internationally renowned for his genomic studies to dissect the genetic basis of drought resistance in cereals and how to leverage this knowledge toward the release of climate-resilient cultivars. He is on the editorial board of several leading journals, has been involved in many European and international research projects in cereal breeding, represents Europe in the International Crop Science Society (ICSS) and has published over 170 articles as well as edited a number of books. He has organised international congresses on genomics and breeding of cereals under drought conditions and is a member of the scientific board of the Wheat Initiative and of the PlantStress advisory board. Amongst other honours, Professor Tuberosa has been elected a Fellow of the Crop Society of America.



Publication date:

09 January 2024

Length of book:

360 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786769855

Hardback - £150.00
Request Permissions


Drought remains the biggest single threat from climate change to the production of key cereal crops, such as wheat and barley. Cereals also respond in complex ways to drought stress, making improved drought tolerance a challenging trait to achieve. With many cereals recognised as staple food crops due to their nutritional value, more research is required into improving drought tolerance as a means of ensuring the future food security of millions.

Developing drought-resistant cereals reviews the wealth of research which addresses how to overcome this challenge in order to mitigate climate change effects in cereal production. This collection details our understanding of the mechanisms of drought tolerance, as well as developments in techniques for improving resistance, including phenotyping, identifying genes relating to root and photosynthetic function and the use of genomic selection and genome editing.

Key features

  • Provides a comprehensive overview of the effect of drought on cereal crop yield and yield stability 
  • Explores recent developments in techniques for improving drought resistance, such as phenotyping, genomic selection and gene editing
  • Assesses the role of physiological traits (e.g. root characteristics, canopy architecture) on cereals response to drought stress

What others are saying...

"This new book titled Developing drought resistant cereals edited by Professor Tuberosa will be an important resource for scientists worldwide, especially with climate change increasing the frequency of drought conditions. Professor Tuberosa and the contributing authors are among the leading authorities in the cutting-edge science of crop improvement for drought tolerance. I look forward to using this important resource in my research program."
Professor Mark Sorrells, Cornell University, USA

Table of contents

Part 1 Understanding mechanisms of drought tolerance

  • 1.Physiological traits affecting water use and water use efficiency in cereals in response to drought stress: Thomas R. Sinclair, North Carolina State University, USA; and Michel E. Ghanem, Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD), France and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, Morocco;
  • 2.The role of plant hormones in adaptation to drought stress in cereals: Arnauld A. Thiry, Lancaster Environment Centre, UK; Matthew P. Reynolds, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico; and William J. Davies and Ian C. Dodd, Lancaster Environment Centre, UK;
  • 3.Genetics of drought tolerance in cereals: Roberto Tuberosa, University of Bologna, Italy;
  • 4.The role of drought-induced proteins in regulating drought tolerance in cereals: Mitiku A. Mengistu and John C. Cushman, University of Nevada – Reno, USA;

Part 2 Techniques for improving resistance

  • 5.Advances in phenotyping to identify drought-resistance traits in cereal roots: Jack Christopher, University of Queensland, Australia;
  • 6.Identifying and exploiting genes related to root system architecture in improving drought resistance in cereals: Eric Ober, NIAB, UK;
  • 7.Identifying and exploiting photosynthetic genes in improving drought resistance in cereals: Ruilian Jing, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China;
  • 8.Genomic selection, gene editing and genetic engineering for drought tolerance in cereals: Rodomiro Ortiz, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Sweden;
  • 9.Meta-QTL analysis to identify loci for the plastic response of tetraploid wheat to drought stress: Agata Gadaleta, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy;
  • 10.Recent progress concerning corn and drought tolerance: Robert Bensen, Umbrella Genetics