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Agriculture Adaptation to Changing
Climate

Kevin M. Folta
Professor and Chairman
Horticultural Sciences Department
kfolta...
Structure
Why plants are vulnerable to environmental irregularities
Evidence of changes in agricultural and natural produc...
Why does this matter?
Farming must be productive and profitable
Farmer incomes
Food security
Acknowledging a changing clim...
Why does this matter?
We can discuss climate associated issues in
terms of
1. Mitigation
2. Adaptation
Plants are
complex,
stationary
capsules of
environmental
sensors
What are the Trends in Canada?
Climate-Inspired Trends in Canadian Agriculture
Shorter and warmer winter (season 2 weeks
longer compared to 1950)
Water b...
Climate-Inspired Trends in Canadian Agriculture
1931-1960 1981-2010
Difference
Natural ranges of trees affected by change, should
technology be used to adjust populations?
What are the Effects Being Observed?
“Biotic Effects”
Plants are bred to perform under specific
conditions, some are temperature related.
Thermoperiod
DIF
Chil...
Corn tassels abort under high temperatures.
Insufficient Chilling Hours are Decreasing Yields
Higher temperatures are not conducive to general
plant growth
Higher temperatures are not conducive to general
plant growth
• Corn: high nighttime temperatures, high temperatures
during pollination, water stress
• Soybean: water stress, high temp...
• Insect pests
• Greater numbers, increased insecticide resistance
• Geographic ranges increases & decreases
• Imports fro...
Emergence of new pest and pathogens
In Canada, warmer weather, increased soy production
welcomes Asian Soybean Rust
Higher...
Emergence of new pest and pathogens
In Canada, warmer weather, increased soy production
welcomes Asian Soybean Rust
Higher...
Elevation of Threats from Existing Pathogens
Apple Scab
Trees are affected by warmer temperatures – Fruit and Lumber
Sea level rise and salt water intrusion
Sea level rise and salt water intrusion
How Can We Adjust?
Cultural?
Genetics?
Responses of AgriculturalResponses of Agricultural
SystemsSystems
Changes in farmer behaviorChanges in farmer behavior
Cha...
How Can We Speed Development of
Adapted Varieties?
Rapid Adaptation – Plant Breeding
It is possible to breed and select new elite
lines with inherent resistance to climate-
...
Genomic Selection
Genomic selection is an approach for improving quantitative traits
in large plant breeding populations. ...
Genomic Selection
Jannink et al. 2010
Transgenics
Can add traits from across species (like the Bt gene for insect resistance)
Can suppress traits or viruses usi...
Transgenics
Can add traits from across species (like the Bt gene for insect resistance)
Can suppress traits or viruses usi...
The Gene Editing Speeds Variety Improvement
The Gene Editing Revolution
Gene Editing
Horn Gene Horn Gene
NO HORNS!!!
Good beef
Bad milkHORNS!!!
Bad beef
Great milk
Horn Gene
NO HORNS!!!
Bad beef...
Gene Editing
Examples of Crops with Enhanced
Adaptation Traits
Response to direct threats
We
understand
the genes
that matter
Breeding for Heat Stress
Engineering Water Deficit Stress Resistance
Company advertisement
Not peer reviewed
Gene Editing - Edited out a floral repressor
Examples of Crops with Enhanced
Adaptation Traits
Response to indirect threats
miRNA Approaches Can Target Insects
Conclusion
Focusing on adaptation acknowledges change;
presents solutions based on unified concerns.
Food security hinges ...
Challenge!
We are measuring effects of temperature on
agricultural production
In addition to mitigation efforts, adaptatio...
kfolta.blogspot.com
@kevinfolta
kfolta@ufl.edu
www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com
iTunes, Stitcher, Player FM
Thank you .
Scien...
“Don’t tell me it can’t be done,
tell me what needs to be done
and help me do it.”
Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate
Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate
Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate
Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate
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Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate

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A keynote symposium talk to Grow Canada, December 7, 2016. The topic was the effects of climate change and how ag producers and agricultural researchers are studying opportunities to adapt to warmer temperatures. The session focuses on communications strategies that emphasize adaptation over the contentious issues of cause or mitigation. The hope it to continue productive agricultural production without becoming mired in policy discussion, and the science of adaptation will inform discussion in climate change cause and mitigation.

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Agricultural Adaptation to a Changing Climate

  1. 1. Agriculture Adaptation to Changing Climate Kevin M. Folta Professor and Chairman Horticultural Sciences Department kfolta.blogspot.com @kevinfolta kfolta@ufl.edu www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com
  2. 2. Structure Why plants are vulnerable to environmental irregularities Evidence of changes in agricultural and natural product produciton How science is adapting plants to meet changing conditions How production practices are changing
  3. 3. Why does this matter? Farming must be productive and profitable Farmer incomes Food security Acknowledging a changing climate does not have to be a judgement call-- it does not have to be good or bad.
  4. 4. Why does this matter? We can discuss climate associated issues in terms of 1. Mitigation 2. Adaptation
  5. 5. Plants are complex, stationary capsules of environmental sensors
  6. 6. What are the Trends in Canada?
  7. 7. Climate-Inspired Trends in Canadian Agriculture Shorter and warmer winter (season 2 weeks longer compared to 1950) Water becoming increasingly a limiting factor Generally positive in that extended season allows cultivation of a wider array of horticultural crops, corn, soybeans, forages.
  8. 8. Climate-Inspired Trends in Canadian Agriculture 1931-1960 1981-2010 Difference
  9. 9. Natural ranges of trees affected by change, should technology be used to adjust populations?
  10. 10. What are the Effects Being Observed?
  11. 11. “Biotic Effects” Plants are bred to perform under specific conditions, some are temperature related. Thermoperiod DIF Chilling requirements Germination Flower abortion and low fruit set
  12. 12. Corn tassels abort under high temperatures.
  13. 13. Insufficient Chilling Hours are Decreasing Yields
  14. 14. Higher temperatures are not conducive to general plant growth
  15. 15. Higher temperatures are not conducive to general plant growth
  16. 16. • Corn: high nighttime temperatures, high temperatures during pollination, water stress • Soybean: water stress, high temperatures • Wheat and small grains: extreme events, frost during flowering, water stress • Rice: temperature extremes during pollination, water management • Cotton: high temperatures during boll fill • Pasture and rangeland: water stress • Fruit trees: chilling requirements not met, high temperatures during fruit development • Specialty crops: water stress, high temperatures Effects and Sensitivity Vary by Commodity
  17. 17. • Insect pests • Greater numbers, increased insecticide resistance • Geographic ranges increases & decreases • Imports from foreign sources • Pathogens • Host-pathogen response changes (plants, insects, non-crop reservoirs) • Cultural control measures may be less reliable • Extreme events can spread • Weeds – Increased vigor, herbicide resistance – Geographic range increases & decreases Increased Biotic Stresses Will Significantly Affect Agriculture
  18. 18. Emergence of new pest and pathogens In Canada, warmer weather, increased soy production welcomes Asian Soybean Rust Higher CO2 makes soybean more susceptible to the Japanese beetle (Casteele et al., 2008) Higher CO2 makes corn more susceptible to the Western corn rootworm (Schumann 2014)
  19. 19. Emergence of new pest and pathogens In Canada, warmer weather, increased soy production welcomes Asian Soybean Rust Higher CO2 makes soybean more susceptible to the Japanese beetle (Casteele et al., 2008) Pest/pathogen pressure is affected by climate Range of insect Winter kill Optimal conditions for bacterial/fungal pathogens
  20. 20. Elevation of Threats from Existing Pathogens Apple Scab
  21. 21. Trees are affected by warmer temperatures – Fruit and Lumber
  22. 22. Sea level rise and salt water intrusion
  23. 23. Sea level rise and salt water intrusion
  24. 24. How Can We Adjust? Cultural? Genetics?
  25. 25. Responses of AgriculturalResponses of Agricultural SystemsSystems Changes in farmer behaviorChanges in farmer behavior Changes in production, consumption,Changes in production, consumption, prices, and trade patternsprices, and trade patterns – Domestic and global market responseDomestic and global market response – U.S. impacts depend on global responseU.S. impacts depend on global response Economic effects depend on domestic andEconomic effects depend on domestic and global adaptive capacityglobal adaptive capacity – Impacts vary by region, by sector, and byImpacts vary by region, by sector, and by stakeholder groupstakeholder group
  26. 26. How Can We Speed Development of Adapted Varieties?
  27. 27. Rapid Adaptation – Plant Breeding It is possible to breed and select new elite lines with inherent resistance to climate- associated biotic and abiotic stress.
  28. 28. Genomic Selection Genomic selection is an approach for improving quantitative traits in large plant breeding populations. It is based on whole‐genome molecular markers (high density markers and high throughput genotyping).‐ Flavell, 2010
  29. 29. Genomic Selection Jannink et al. 2010
  30. 30. Transgenics Can add traits from across species (like the Bt gene for insect resistance) Can suppress traits or viruses using RNAi (as in the papaya and potato)
  31. 31. Transgenics Can add traits from across species (like the Bt gene for insect resistance) Can suppress traits or viruses using RNAi (as in the papaya and potato)
  32. 32. The Gene Editing Speeds Variety Improvement
  33. 33. The Gene Editing Revolution
  34. 34. Gene Editing Horn Gene Horn Gene NO HORNS!!! Good beef Bad milkHORNS!!! Bad beef Great milk Horn Gene NO HORNS!!! Bad beef Good milk
  35. 35. Gene Editing
  36. 36. Examples of Crops with Enhanced Adaptation Traits Response to direct threats
  37. 37. We understand the genes that matter
  38. 38. Breeding for Heat Stress
  39. 39. Engineering Water Deficit Stress Resistance Company advertisement Not peer reviewed
  40. 40. Gene Editing - Edited out a floral repressor
  41. 41. Examples of Crops with Enhanced Adaptation Traits Response to indirect threats
  42. 42. miRNA Approaches Can Target Insects
  43. 43. Conclusion Focusing on adaptation acknowledges change; presents solutions based on unified concerns. Food security hinges on rapid adaptation Accelerated breeding techniques and genetic engineering will be required to meet speed of change. Gene editing will be critical. Adaptations will affect flowering time, chilling requirements and overall response to stress.
  44. 44. Challenge! We are measuring effects of temperature on agricultural production In addition to mitigation efforts, adaptation will be critical We need all tools on deck This requires the agricultural community to be active in promoting strategies to develop adapted materials
  45. 45. kfolta.blogspot.com @kevinfolta kfolta@ufl.edu www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com iTunes, Stitcher, Player FM Thank you . Science Advocate Community All funding, reimbursement: www.kevinfolta.com/transparency
  46. 46. “Don’t tell me it can’t be done, tell me what needs to be done and help me do it.”

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