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. 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. Addressing environmental damage is essential for the production of adequate food. Future cropping systems will need an increased emphasis on ecosystem services. 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. Perennial crops show promise as a sustainable agricultural production tool that provides ecosystem services (maintaining healthy soil, controlling erosion, improving water quality, and enhancing wildlife habitat). Perennial crops could also provide economically viable cropping option to farmers. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) is an ideal crop for perennialization because of existing genetic resources and a wide variety of end-uses. The objective of this research was to evaluate interspecific hybrids between perennial Helianthus tuberosus L. (2n=6x=102) and annual Helianthus annuus L. (2n=2x=34) for perenniality and agronomic traits; assessing their utility in developing a perennial seed crop.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2013. Major: Applied plant sciences. Advisor: Donald L. Wyse and Robert M. Stupar. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 104 pages.
Kantar, Michael Benjamin.
Evaluating an interspeccific Helianthus annuus x Helianthus tuberosus population for use in a perennial sunflower breeding program.
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