African Orphan Crops under Abiotic Stresses: Challenges and Opportunities

Tadele, Zerihun (2018). African Orphan Crops under Abiotic Stresses: Challenges and Opportunities. Scientifica, 2018, pp. 1-19. Hindawi 10.1155/2018/1451894

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A changing climate, a growing world population, and a reduction in arable land devoted to food production are all problems facing the world food security. The development of crops that can yield under uncertain and extreme climatic and soil growing conditions can play a key role in mitigating these problems. Major crops such as maize, rice, and wheat are responsible for a large proportion of global food production but many understudied crops (commonly known as “orphan crops”) including millets, cassava, and cowpea feed millions of people in Asia, Africa, and South America and are already adapted to the local environments in which they are grown. The application of modern genetic and genomic tools to the breeding of these crops can provide enormous opportunities for ensuring world food security but is only in its infancy. In this review, the diversity and types of understudied crops will be introduced, and the beneficial traits of these crops as well as their role in the socioeconomics of Africa will be discussed. In addition, the response of orphan crops to diverse types of abiotic stresses is investigated. A review of the current tools and their application to the breeding of enhanced orphan crops will also be described. Finally, few examples of global efforts on tackling major abiotic constraints in Africa are presented.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Development

UniBE Contributor:

Tadele, Zerihun


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)








Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

07 Feb 2018 12:48

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 07:12

Publisher DOI:





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