The development of new varieties better adapted to future climate is one of the most effective strategies to alleviate the impact of climate change on agriculture and related food-security issues. Identifying key traits for specific agro-environmental contexts is thus a crucial point within breeding programs. The study of Paleari et al. (2015) represents the first attempt to use simulation models to define and test rice ideotypes improved for their resistance/tolerance traits to biotic and abiotic stressors. For the first time, ideotypes were tested at district level. The focus was on the improvement of traits involved with the impact of leaf blast disease, and of pre-flowering cold- and heat-induced spikelet sterility. Thirty-four rice varieties in six Italian rice districts were used as a case study. Simulations were performed under current climate conditions and using future climate projections, to provide indications able to properly cope with the time resources needed by breeding programs. Dedicated simulation platform (i.e. ISIde), explicitly developed for ideotyping studies, has been used.
Posted in Science briefs.