Global population is projected to reach nine billion people by 2050, and the human population will need an adequate food
supply and methods for sustainable production (Baulcombe et al., 2009). Over the past century, agriculture has greatly
increased crop yields and productivity. However, this increase in productivity has often come at the expense of long term
environmental sustainability through overuse of fossil fuel-based fertilizers, and the depletion of fresh water and arable land
(Tilman et al., 2002). Addressing environmental damage is essential for the production of adequate food. Future cropping
systems will need an increased emphasis on ecosystem services (Costanza et al., 1997). Ecosystem services can be incorporated
into the landscape by increasing nutrient and water efficiency in major crops, adjusting agronomic practices (timing and duration of irrigation and nutrient applications), and by using perennial
crops to help maintain healthy nutrient levels, control erosion and pests, and to keep water clean (DeHann et al., 2005;
Baulcombe et al., 2009; Jackson and Berry, 2009; Glover et al., 2010). The objective of this research is to use current genetics
and plant breeding techniques to introgress genes for perennial habit from Helianthus tuberosus L. (2n=6x=102) into domesticated sunflower (Helianthus annuus L., 2n=2x=34). H. tuberosus is part of the secondary gene pool of sunflower and has been used as a donor of many disease resistance traits
making it an excellent donor for perennial habit. Because of previous success in gene transfer from H. tuberosus, we believe
we will be successful in transferring perennial habit into annual sunflower.
Kantar, Michael B.; Betts, Kevin; Stupar, Robert M.; Hulke, Brent; Wyse, Donald.
Perennial Sunflower Provides Food and Ecosystem Services.
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