See more from this Session: Symposium--Incorporating Genomic Knowledge Into Crop Simulation Models
Tuesday, November 2, 2010: 1:00 PM
Long Beach Convention Center, Room 103A, First Floor
Narrowing genotype-phenotype gaps has been and will remain a great challenge to plant biologists, agronomists and breeders alike. Plant systems biology, as first defined and recognized, seems to target those phenotypes at molecular, sub-cellular, or cellular levels. To emphasize the importance of bridging this gap for understanding and directionally modifying phenotypes relevant to the real-world challenges for agriculture, the concept ‘crop systems biology’ seems more appropriate. This new concept honours the complementary role of modern plant biology and traditional crop physiology in improving the yield and related resource use efficiencies of major crops. As a first step, biochemical modules of photosynthesis and molecular marker-based quantitative trait locus information were incorporated into existing crop models. These case studies underline that current modelling already shows promise in studying complex crop traits. For further progress, crop models should be upgraded based on understandings at lower organizational levels of complicated phenomena, such as sink formation and crop physiological acclimation to prevailing environmental cues. We expect that this crop systems biology approach will ultimately be instrumental in realizing the expected roles of in silico modelling in narrowing genotype-crop phenotype gaps. This presentation reviews our opinions and approaches, and illustrates them using case studies on perspectives for modelling genotype-by-environment interactions at crop level.