Harnessing High-throughput Phenotyping and Genotyping for Enhanced Drought Tolerance in Crop Plants

Javaid Akhter Bhat, Rupesh Deshmukh, Tuanjie Zhao, Gunvant Patil, Amit Deokar, Suhas Shinde, Juhi Chaudhary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Development of drought-tolerant cultivars is one of the challenging tasks for the plant breeders due to its complex inheritance and polygenic regulation. Evaluating genetic material for drought tolerance is a complex process due to its spatiotemporal interactions with environmental factors. The conventional breeding approaches are costly, lengthy, and inefficient to achieve the expected gain in drought tolerance. In this regard, genomics-assisted breeding (GAB) offers promise to develop cultivars with improved drought tolerance in a more efficient, quicker, and cost-effective manner. The success of GAB depends upon the precision in marker-trait association and estimation of genomic estimated breeding values (GEBVs), which mostly depends on coverage and precision of genotyping and phenotyping. A wide gap between the discovery and practical use of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for crop improvement has been observed for many important agronomical traits. Such a limitation could be due to the low accuracy in QTL detection, mainly resulting from low marker density and manually collected phenotypes of complex agronomic traits. Increasing marker density using the high-throughput genotyping (HTG), and accurate and precise phenotyping using high-throughput digital phenotyping (HTP) platforms can improve the precision and power of QTL detection. Therefore, both HTG and HTP can enhance the practical utility of GAB along with a faster characterization of germplasm and breeding material. In the present review, we discussed how the recent innovations in HTG and HTP would assist in the breeding of improved drought-tolerant varieties. We have also discussed strategies, tools, and analytical advances made on the HTG and HTP along with their pros and cons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-260
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
StatePublished - Dec 20 2020


  • Genomic selection
  • Genomics
  • Genomics-assisted breeding
  • Phenomics
  • Stress tolerance
  • Water-stress


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