Plant Genetic Resources and Climate Change – in the production phase at last

At the end of March I submitted to CABI all 16 manuscripts and associated figures for our book on Plant Genetic Resources and Climate Change.

These are now being checked and moving through the various production phases. We hope that the book will be published in the last quarter of 2013. I gather that the target price will be around £85 – but that has yet to be confirmed. The book will be around 300+ pages.

Plant Genetic Resources - cover design

Rationale and audience:
The collection and conservation of plant genetic resources have made significant progress over the past half century, and many large and important collections of crop germplasm have been established in many countries. A major threat to continuing crop productivity is climate change, which is expected to bring about disruptions to patterns of agriculture, to the crops and varieties that can be grown, and some of the constraints to productivity – such as diseases and pests, and some abiotic stresses – will be exacerbated. This book will address the current state of climate change predictions and its consequences, how climate change will affect conservation and use of crop germplasm, both ex situ and in situ, as well as highlighting specific examples of germplasm research related to ‘climate change threats’. All of this needs to take place under a regime of access to and use of germplasm through international legal instruments such as the Convention on Biological Diversity and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. This book will be essential reading for plant breeders and physiologists, as well as those involved with germplasm conservation per se. In particular it will be a companion volume to the recently published CABI volume Climate Change and Crop Production (2010) by MP Reynolds (ed.), but of interest to the same readership as Crop Stress Management and Global Climate Change (2011) by JL Araus and GA Slafer (eds.) and Climate Change Biology (2011) by JA Newman et al.

Chapters, authors and their affiliations:

Michael Jackson, Brian Ford-Lloyd and Martin Parry
The Editors

1. Food security, climate change and genetic resources
Robert S. Zeigler

2. Genetic resources and conservation challenges under the threat of climate change
Brian Ford-Lloyd, Johannes M.M. Engels and Michael Jackson
University of Birmingham, Bioversity International, and formerly IRRI (now retired)

3. Climate projections
Richard A. Betts and Ed Hawkins
UK MetOffice and University of Reading

4. Effects of climate change on potential food production and risk of hunger
Martin Parry
Imperial College

5. Regional impacts of climate change on agriculture and the role of adaptation
Pam Berry, Julian Ramirez-Villegas, Helen Bramley, Samarandu Mohanty and Mary A. Mgonja
University of Oxford, University of Leeds and CIAT, University of Western Australia, IRRI, and ICRISAT

6. International mechanisms for conservation and use of genetic resources
Gerald Moore and Geoffrey Hawtin
Formerly FAO and formerly IPGRI (now retired)

7. Crop wild relatives and climate change
Nigel Maxted, Shelagh Kell and Joana Magos Brehm
University of Birmingham

8. Climate change and on-farm conservation of crop landraces in centres of diversity
Mauricio R. Bellon and Jacob van Etten
Bioversity International

9. Germplasm databases and informatics
Helen Ougham and Ian D. Thomas
University of Aberystwyth

10. Exploring ‘omics’ of genetic resources to mitigate the effects of climate change
Kenneth L. McNally

11. Harnessing meiotic recombination for improved crop varieties
Susan J. Armstrong
University of Birmingham

12. High temperature stress
Maduraimuthu Djanaguiraman and P.V. Vara Prasad
Kansas State University

13. Drought
Salvatore Ceccarelli
Formerly ICARDA (now retired)

14. Salinity
William Erskine, Hari D. Upadhyaya and Al Imran Malik
University of Western Australia, ICRISAT, and UWA

15. Response to flooding: submergence tolerance in rice
Abdelbagi M. Ismail and David J. Mackill
IRRI and University of California – Davis

16. Effects of climate change on plant-insect interactions and prospects for resistance breeding using genetic resources
Jeremy Pritchard, Colette Broekgaarden and Ben Vosman
University of Birmingham and Wageningen UR Plant Breeding

The editors:
Michael Jackson retired from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in 2010. For 10 years he was Head of the Genetic Resources Center, managing the International Rice Genebank, one of the world’s largest and most important genebanks. For nine years he was Director for Program Planning and Communications. He was Adjunct Professor of Agronomy at the University of the Philippines-Los Baños. During the 1980s he was Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Birmingham, focusing on the conservation and use of plant genetic resources. From 1973-81 he worked at the International Potato Center, in Lima, Perú and in Costa Rica. He now works part-time as an independent agricultural research and planning consultant. He was appointed OBE in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2012, for services to international food science.

Brian Ford-Lloyd is Emeritus Professor of Conservation Genetics at the University of Birmingham, former Director of the University Graduate School, and former Deputy Head of the School of Biosciences. As Director of the University Graduate School he aimed to ensure that doctoral researchers throughout the University were provided with the opportunity, training and facilities to undertake internationally valued research that would lead into excellent careers in the UK and overseas. He drew from his experience of having successfully supervised over 40 doctoral researchers from the UK and many other parts of the world in his chosen research area which included the study of the natural genetic variation in plant populations, and agricultural plant genetic resources and their conservation.

Martin Parry is Visiting Professor at The Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, and also Visiting Research Fellow at The Grantham Institute at the same university. Until September 2008 he was Co-Chair of Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) based at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, UK Meteorological Office. Previously he was Director of the Jackson Environment Institute (JEI), and Professor of Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia (1999-2002); Director of the JEI and Professor of Environmental Management at University College London (1994-99), foundation Director of the Environmental Change Institute and Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford (1991-94), and Professor of Geography at the University of Birmingham (1989-91). He was appointed OBE in The Queen’s New Year’s Honours 1998, for services to the environment and climate change.

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