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Drought and heat tolerance in coffee: a review

  • University of Embu


Climatic variability is the main factor responsible for the fluctuations in the coffee yield in the world. The relationships between the climatic parameters and the agricultural production are quite complex, because environmental factors affect the growth and the development of plants under different forms during the phenological phases of the coffee crop. Such environmental factors include reduced rainfall and high temperatures both of which majorly contribute to drought. This paper briefly reviews some of the important aspects of drought and heat tolerance in coffee. It highlights the impacts of draught and high temperatures in coffee production, tolerance mechanisms, necessary interventions, selection challenges and current advances towards development of drought and heat tolerant coffee cultivars.
International Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Soil Science (ISSN: 2251-0044) Vol. 2(12) pp. 498-
501, December 2012
Available online
Copyright ©2012 International Research Journals
Drought and heat tolerance in coffee: a review
Cheserek J.J.* and Gichimu B.M
Coffee Research Foundation, P.O. Box 4 – 00232, Ruiru, Kenya
Climatic variability is the main factor responsible for the fluctuations in the coffee yield in the world.
The relationships between the climatic parameters and the agricultural production are quite complex,
because environmental factors affect the growth and the development of plants under different forms
during the phenological phases of the coffee crop. Such environmental factors include reduced rainfall
and high temperatures both of which majorly contribute to drought. This paper briefly reviews some of
the important aspects of drought and heat tolerance in coffee. It highlights the impacts of draught and
high temperatures in coffee production, tolerance mechanisms, necessary interventions, selection
challenges and current advances towards development of drought and heat tolerant coffee cultivars.
Keywords: Coffee, Water Stress, High Temperatures, Tolerance Mechanisms.
Among some 90 species of the genus Coffea, C. arabica
L. (Arabica coffee) and C. canephora Pierre (Robusta
coffee) economically dominate the world coffee trade,
being responsible for about 99% of world bean
production (Da Matta and Ramalho, 2006). Arabica
coffee accounts for more than 62% of the world coffee
production (Dias et al., 2007) and 90% of the world coffee
market (Worku and Astatkie, 2010). Robusta coffee
accounts for the rest. Compared with Arabica, Robusta
coffee generally appears to be more vigorous, productive
and robust, but the quality of the beverage derived from
its beans is considerably inferior to that from Arabica
(Coste, 1992; Da Matta and Ramalho 2006).
Drought is an environmental factor that causes water
deficit or water stress in plants (Pinheiro et al., 2005).
Overall, drought and unfavourable temperatures are the
major climatic limitations for coffee production (Da Matta
and Ramalho 2006). These limitations are expected to
become increasingly important in several coffee growing
regions due to the recognized changes in global climate
and also because coffee cultivation has spread towards
marginal lands, where water shortage and unfavourable
temperatures constitute major constraints to coffee yield
(Da Matta and Ramalho 2006; Kimemia, 2010). The
global warming caused by increase of greenhouse gas
emissions (carbon dioxide and methane) in the
*Corresponding Author E-mail:
atmosphere is causing wide changes in atmospheric
events resulting to climate change. These include,
shifting of optimal growing zones, changes in rainfall
(amount and distribution), and changes in dynamics of
crop diseases and pests, loss of agricultural land due to
either rising sea levels and/or desertification (Kimemia,
2010). The combined effects of this phenomenon have
critical impacts on coffee production.
Many reviews focusing on the morphology and
physiology of both Arabica and Robusta coffee with
respect to drought and extreme temperatures (Barros et
al., 1999; Carr, 2001; Maestri et al., 2001; DaMatta and
Rena, 2001, 2002; DaMatta, 2004 and DaMatta and
Ramalho, 2006) have been published. The present
review is mainly focused on impact of draught and high
temperatures on coffee production and necessary
interventions related to crop improvement. It therefore
highlights some morphological and physiological
traits/mechanisms which are important in selecting
drought and heat tolerant coffee genotypes. It further
focuses on selection challenges and current advances
towards development of tolerant genotypes.
Impacts of drought and high temperatures on coffee
Coffee is indigenous to African regions characterized by
abundantly distributed rainfall and atmospheric humidity
frequently approaching saturation (Pinheiro et al., 2005).
For this reason, coffee probably evolved as ‘water-
spender’ species (DaMatta and Rena, 2001). Coffee is
therefore a highly environmentally-dependent crop and
an increase of a few degrees of average temperature
and/or short periods of drought in coffee-growing regions
can substantially decrease yields of quality coffees.
Taking into account the global warming phenomena,
severe reductions of adequate coffee growing areas are
to be expected (DaMatta and Ramalho, 2006) thus
sustainability of coffee productivity and quality may
become more difficult to maintain. Experts warn that
temperature may rise up to 5.8°C in the tropical area by
the end of the 21st century (Camargo, 2009). In Kenya,
climate change has rendered a significant proportion of
traditional coffee growing zone less suitable for coffee
production. This has caused shifting from optimal to sub-
optimal and marginal growing zones, resulting in changes
in crop yields and quality. In Uganda, severe impacts of
climate change on coffee production are expected as
temperature rise by 2ºC in the next few decades
(Kimemia, 2010). In Brazil, Robusta coffee is currently
largely cultivated in regions where water availability
constitutes the major environmental constraint affecting
crop production (Pinheiro et al., 2005).
Extreme temperatures, depending on their intensity,
duration and speed of imposition, impair cell metabolic
processes (e.g. photosynthesis), growth and survival of
plants, as well as their economic exploitation (DaMatta
and Ramalho, 2006). In fact, temperature may limit the
successful economic exploitation of the coffee crop, in
part because coffee growth is particularly affected by
both high and low temperatures (Barros et al., 1997; Silva
et al., 2004). The optimum mean annual temperature
range for Arabica coffee is 18-21ºC (DaMatta and
Ramalho, 2006). Above 23ºC, development and ripening
of fruits are accelerated, often leading to loss of quality
(Camargo, 2009). Continuous exposure to temperatures
as high as 30ºC could result in not only depressed growth
but also in abnormalities such as yellowing of leaves and
growth of tumors at the base of the stem (DaMatta and
Ramalho, 2006). A relatively high temperature during
blossoming, especially if associated with a prolonged dry
season, may cause abortion of flowers (Camargo, 2009).
In addition, large variations in temperature also increase
bean defects, modify bean biochemical composition and
the final quality of the beverage (Carr, 2001; Silva et al.,
2005). For Robusta coffee, the optimum annual mean
temperature ranges from 22 to 30ºC (DaMatta and
Ramalho, 2006). Robusta coffee can be grown between
sea level and 800 m, whereas Arabica coffee grows best
at higher altitudes and is often grown in hilly areas, as in
Colombia and Central America (Baker and Haggar 2007).
In Kenya, the main coffee growing areas ranges from low
to high altitude (1200 m to over 1700 m above sea level)
(Kimemia, 2010; Gichimu 2012).
Cheserek and Gichimu 499
Drought and heat tolerance mechanisms
For cultivated plants, tolerance to drought is generally
considered as the potential for a particular species or
variety to yield more in comparison to others under
limited soil water conditions (Pinheiro, 2004). A
complementary approach to improve plant performance
for drought-prone regions involves the identification and
selection of traits that contribute to drought tolerance. A
partial list of potentially important traits might include
water-extraction efficiency, water-use efficiency (WUE),
hydraulic conductance, osmotic and elastic adjustments,
and modulation of leaf area. Most of these traits are
complex and their control and molecular basis is not well
understood (Da Matta, 2004). However, species/varieties
more tolerant to drought generally differ morphologically
and/or physiologically with mechanisms that allow them
to produce comparable yield under limited water supply
(Da Matta, 2004). Examples include maximization in
water uptake by growing deep roots and/or minimization
of water loss by way of an effective stomatal closure and
reduced leaf area thus improving plant water status and
turgor maintenance (Kufa and Burkhardt, 2011; Kramer
and Boyer, 1995). Turgor maintenance, which provides
the potential for keeping physiological activity for
extended periods of drought, may be achieved through
an osmotic adjustment and/or changes in cell wall
elasticity (Kramer and Boyer, 1995; Turner 1997).
Like many plant species, coffee displays a diversity of
acclimation mechanisms to avoid and endure drought
and heat stresses (as well as the oxidative stress usually
promoted by them), developed within the genetic bounds
of the plant/species (Da Matta and Ramalho, 2006;
Worku and Astatkie, 2010). When working with potted
plants, Pinheiro et al., (2005) found out that plant water
stress develops more slowly in the drought-tolerant than
in the drought-sensitive clones. Morphological traits such
as leaf area and root mass to leaf area ratio were not
associated with that response. Instead, the much deeper
root system of the tolerant clones enabled them to gain
greater access to water towards the bottom of the pots
and, therefore, to maintain a more favourable internal
water status longer than in drought-sensitive clones. Root
characteristics and growth play a crucial role in
maintaining the water supply to the plant, and drought
adapted plants are often characterized by deep and
vigorous root systems (Blum, 2005). However, Burkhardt
et al., (2006) observed coffee plants with extensive root
system but vulnerable to drought due to their hydraulic
system and stomatal behavior.
Physiological evaluations of some of the coffee clones
perceived to be drought tolerant suggested that keeping
an adequate water status, maintenance of leaf area (Da
Matta et al., 2003; Pinheiro et al., 2005), and steep leaf
inclinations (Pinheiro and DaMatta, unpublished results),
500 Int. Res. J. Agric. Sci. Soil Sci.
are of utmost importance. Biochemical traits such as
improved tolerance of oxidative stress (Lima et al., 2002;
Pinheiro et al., 2004) and ability to maintain assimilate
export (Praxedes et al., 2005) are also considered
important. Drought-tolerant coffee genotypes are able to
maintain higher tissue water potential and water use
efficiency than drought-sensitive ones under water-deficit
conditions (DaMatta, 2004; Dias et al., 2007). Such
differences are even more evident in the field, where the
development of the root system is much less restricted
(Da Matta et al., 2003). When comparing the yields of
drought-tolerant and drought-sensitive clones, Da
Matta et al., (2003) found that the better crop yield of the
drought-tolerant clone was associated with maintenance
of leaf area and higher tissue water potentials, as a
consequence of smaller stomatal conductance, which
would result in less carbon isotope discrimination.
Combining traits associated with a favourable water
status and suitable biochemical characteristics, which
enable some degree of tissue tolerance to desiccation,
should improve coffee yields over a range of drought
conditions. However, most of these traits do not appear
to be well developed in drought-tolerant clones which
favour survival over productivity under drought
Different species of coffee (e.g. Arabica and Robusta)
may also differ in morphological and/or physiological
mechanisms that allow them to produce considerably well
under limited water supply (Da Matta, 2004). Arabica
coffee genotypes have been found to differ in drought
adaptation mechanisms such as stomata control and soil
water extraction efficiency (DaMatta and Ramalho, 2006),
plant water use and biomass allocation to the stems and
leaves (Dias et al., 2007) and tissue water potential
(DaMatta, 2004). On the other hand, studies on Robusta
coffee showed deeper root system (Pinheiro et al., 2005)
and larger root dry mass in drought tolerant clones than
in drought sensitive ones (DaMatta and Ramalho, 2006).
Further, Lima et al. (2002) proposed that drought
tolerance in Robusta coffee might, at least in part, be
associated with enhanced activity of antioxidant enzymes
although Pinheiro et al., (2004) did not corroborate these
findings. The efficiency of all these mechanisms will
determine the ability to cope with such environmental
conditions, thus setting limits to species/genotypes
Necessary interventions and selection challenges
Researchers are being challenged to be better prepared
by breeding varieties that will cope with the impacts of
drought or high temperatures (Motha, 2008) and
repackage and promote climate change mitigation
strategies (Smith et al., 2008; Kimemia, 2010).
Identification of coffee genotypes that could withstand
drought spells with acceptable yields should be the first
requirement for a successful breeding programme for
drought tolerance. Considering the fast changing climate,
drought tolerant genotypes must also have good
combining abilities for yield, diseases and quality. Under
low-input conditions typical of many farming systems of
drought-prone regions, cultivars with better yield stability
under drought stress, or better able to survive drought
episodes, may be of greater value than cultivars with high
yield potential selected for improved environments.
However, despite all the efforts applied towards
understanding drought tolerance in coffee, there is no
consistent information about the causes of the
differences in drought tolerance in coffee. According to
Blum (2005) the conceptual framework of what actually
constitutes a viable target for selection in respect to
drought tolerance is not always clear. For Arabica coffee,
additional challenge is that of low genetic variation
available within the genome and its close relatives forcing
the breeders to look further afield.
Current advances
In some countries, research on developing drought
tolerant coffee varieties for climate change adaptation
has started. In Brazil plant breeders have registered
considerable success in selecting some promising
Robusta clones with relatively high bean yields and low
year-to-year variation of bean production under rain-fed
conditions. The selection has been largely empirical as
al., information about how coffee responds
physiologically to drying soil is still unclear (Pinheiro et
al., 2005; Da Matta and Ramalho 2006). In Kenya and
Uganda, basic research is ongoing whereby coffee
genotypes are being subjected to drought and heat stress
by denying them sufficient water in a greenhouse to
detect and select those that are tolerant. The genotypes
will then be tried in hot and dry areas. Some Arabica
coffee genotypes that are known to have some drought
tolerance attributes include Tanganyika Drought resistant
genotypes DR I and DR II (Trench, unpublished), and
Indian cultivar Sln 9 (D'Souza 2009). Such genotypes
could be exploited in future drought tolerance breeding
This review enabled better understanding of the different
ways in which coffee adapts to drought and heat
tolerance. It further highlighted some morphological and
physiological traits which are important in selecting
drought and heat tolerant coffee genotypes. These facts
will guide the ongoing and future trials on heat and
drought tolerance in coffee.
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... Water availability significantly influences the phenological cycle of arabica-type coffee plants (CHESEREK; GICHIMU, 2012;TESFAYE et al., 2013). From October to March, arabica coffee plants require at least 150 mm of rainfall per month to trigger flowering, fruit formation, and new branches' budding. ...
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The genus Coffea belongs to the Rubiaceae family and includes two species with optimum economic performances, Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora. The state of São Paulo is one of the states that produce the species C. arabica in Brazil. Arabica coffee has been of great importance to São Paulo, providing relevant contributions to the historical, political, architectural, gastronomic, touristic, artistic, agricultural, industrial and social sectors since its introduction into the state in the nineteenth century. The agricultural sector includes crops produced by both small farmers and by highly technological agricultural groups. Coffea arabica plants present six phenological phases, all sensitive to changes in temperature and rainfall. In the reproductive phases, the species requires short days, low temperatures and no rainfall, followed by the rainy season. However, the phenological phases of the coffee plants can be harmed or even inhibited by dry or rainy seasons that are too long or too short. In the state of São Paulo, the municipalities of Garça and Franca show optimal coffee productivity, whereas those of Adamantina and Registro are low, and the agricultural aptitudes of these four municipalities show strong relationships with their geographical distributions in the state. Garça and Franca are situated in areas where the predominant dry and rainy seasons favor the occurrence of the phenological phases of arabica coffee plants, whereas Adamantina and Registro are located in areas with long dry and rainy seasons, respectively, characteristics that harm the development of the reproductive phenological phases of this culture.
... Different species of coffee may also differ in morphological and physiological mechanisms that allow them to produce reasonably well under limited water supply (DaMatta 2004). Many reports have been published on the morphology, physiology, and biochemistry of both Arabica and Robusta coffee with respect to drought (Barros et al. 1997;Carr 2001;DaMatta 2004;DaMatta & Ramalho 2006;DaMatta et al. 1993;D'Souza et al. 2009;Cheserek & Gichimu 2012). However, not much progress has been achieved in breeding for the drought resistance of coffee worldwide because it is a long-term process. ...
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The objective of this study was to evaluate grafting method to improve the drought tolerance of Coffea arabica. Using C. arabica species as scions, and C. robusta as rootstock, the grafted plant was compared with the non-grafted plant (C. arabica) under water deficit condition. The result shown that growth parameters such as plant height, leaf length, and leaf width of the grafted coffee plants were higher than those of the non-grafted. The leaf area, fresh and dry weight of plants were highly reduced in non-grafted coffee plants. The leaf chlorophyll content (SPAD) and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm) values of the grafted and non-grafted coffee plants decreased significantly with increasing duration under water deficit condition. The SPAD and Fv/Fm values of the two coffee types were also increased significantly with increasing duration after re-watering. Compared to the non-grafted plants, higher values of SPAD, Fv/Fm and relative water content in the leaf were observed in the grafted coffee plants. Moreover, lower values of relative ion leakage were observed in the grafted coffee plants after three days of water withholding and one month after re-watering. On the other hand, the grafted coffee plants showed enhanced drought tolerance by reducing the percentages of wilting plant under water deficit condition, and increasing the recovery percentages after re-watering.
... Water requirement is one of factors affecting coffee growth. If the water requirements are not meet, it will inhibit the flowering process and reduce the productivity of the coffee plant (Cheserek and Gichimu, 2012). The availability of water in dryland is lower than the use of water for plant transpiration. ...
Climate change and the erratic and uneven rainfall distribution are the causes of reduced water available in the soil for plant needs to the transpiration process. This study aimed to determine coffee transpiration rate on dry land with rain harvesting techniques during the dry season, transition season, and rainy season and the factors that influence it. This study used field observation and laboratory analysis with two treatments, i.e. a bench terrace as a control (P1) and an L-shaped silt pit (P2). The variables observed were soil moisture content, transpiration rate, soil water potential, leaf water potential, and microclimate, especially temperature and sunlight intensity. The results showed that the transpiration rate of coffee plants was significantly different in the two treatments. The highest transpiration rate was found in P2 as much as 13.17 mm week-1 or equivalent to 1.88 mm day-1 during the dry season. Application of the L-shaped silt pit (P2) increased soil moisture content compared to the control (P1). This increase was followed by an increase in soil water potential and leaf water potential, which could reach the highest values of 0.18 bar and 0.49 bar, respectively. The transpiration decreases with the change of seasons from the dry season to the transitional season and the rainy season. This decrease is caused by changes in the microclimate, especially the temperature and sunlight intensity. Both are the most variables that affect the rate of transpiration.
... Most of scientists and government bodies now believe that the warming trend is largely growth up without any descending (Baker and Haggar, 2007). Several assessments on the climate change reported that, temperature will be increased by 1.4 -5.5°C and rainfall will decline by 2% to 30% at the end of 21st century (Baker and Haggar, 2007;IPCC, 2014;Cheserek and Gichimu, 2012). ...
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This review was focused on agronomic practices influenced negative impacts of climate change. Coffee is the only crop which more than 25 million people in the world depend on, and the second most important commodity next to oil. However, in recent decades, coffee production has been influenced by severity of climatic changes. Agronomic practices have great function in sustain coffee production due to their attribution in buffering climatic change. Thus, this review conducted with the intension of agronomic practices task in buffering of climatic change impacts in coffee production and productivity. Because of climate change, the optimum production zone for coffee is projected to decrease up to 40% and at the end of this century, temperature will rise by 4-6°C. This severity and hazardless will tremendous in developing countries which extremely vulnerable to the risk. Furthermore, deforestation due to over population and absence of awareness in agroforestry are another problem increases the risk of climate change. Familiarity of contributions of agronomic practices in mitigating climate change is less recognizing and practiced informally than improve and scientific way. However, shading has capacity to reduce air temperature by 4°C, banana intercropping with coffee contributed as sources of income in off season for coffee yield. Finally, agronomic practices such as shading, mulching, irrigation, intercropping, pruning and soil conservation practices are the best option for sustaining coffee production and for buffering the direct and indirect impacts of climatic changes.
... Arabica plants resisted better to drought than Robusta varieties, without difference between TR9 and M38 Robusta varieties. This result was surprising since Robusta plants are known to be more productive, vigorous and robust than Arabica plants [25]. The root systems among the Robusta drought tolerance clones were associated by a deeper root length and a larger root dry mass for plant water consuming under the open directly light [26]. ...
This study is aimed at studying the influence of organic fertilization on coffee growth and its resistance to drought. The experiment was carried out on young coffee plantlets in a greenhouse in Viet Nam and compared three varieties (Arabica L, Robusta TR9, and Robusta M38) and two types of organic amendments (compost or vermicompost). This study showed that both compost and vermicompost aided in the increase of soil chemical properties and above-ground plant biomass an as a comparison with chemical fertilizer. The vermicompost amendment has higher effect than compost could be observed for Arabica variety in term of soil organic carbon, total P, available N forms (N-NH 4) except available K and shoot biomass weight (p<0,05), with no difference between two Robusta varieties TR9 & M38 (p>0,05). Interestingly, the plantlets fertilized with organic amendments had lower d (7 days) for resistance to drought than mineral chemicals (9 days.) Therefore, these results suggest that the resistance of coffee plantlets to drought is reduced if the nursery growing media contains compost or vermicompost.
... Namun keberadaan dan pengembangan tanaman kopi di Bali saat ini dihadapkan pada berbagai kendala, diantaranya adalah ancaman perubahan iklim. Tanaman kopi sangat tergantung pada perubahan lingkungan (Cheserek & Gichimu, 2012), terutama oleh variasi fotoperiodik, distribusi curah hujan, dan suhu udara (de Camargo, 2010). Perubahan iklim dapat menyebabkan menurunnya kuantitas produksi dan kualitas biji kopi (Yuliasmara, 2019). ...
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em>Coffee is a commodity that has an important role in the national economy. Currently, coffee cultivation is threatened by climate change caused by global warming due to increased green house gas (GHG) emissions. The organic plantation model is a farming model that is considered to increase soil and crop productivity, reduce GHG emissions, and increase carbon sequestration effectively. The study was aimed to estimate GHG emissions and carbon stocks in organic and conventional coffee plantations in Badung Regency, Bali Province and Laboratory in Balai Penelitian Lingkungan Pertanian, Pati, Jawa Tengah Province, in July 2018. The study was conducted in smallholder coffee plantations in Badung Regency and the analysis was carried out at Laboratory of Indonesian Agricultural Environtment Research Institute. This study used a survey method, while the sampling used a purposive sampling method in organic and conventional coffee plantation. GHG emissions measurement was carried out with a close chamber method by simultaneously the carbon stocks measurement was carried out with the non-destructive method for plant biomass and destructive for understorey. The results showed that organic and conventional coffee plantations emitted GHG by 20.71 and 39.75 ton CO<sub>2</sub>e ha<sup>-1</sup> and stored carbon stock by 227.56 and 288.31 ton CO<sub>2</sub>e ha<sup>-1</sup>, respectively. The differences in GHG emissions and carbon stocks are partly due to differences in management system and the diversity of plant. The management system of the organic coffee plantation should be improved to support handling of the impacts of climate change in Bali Province.</em
... Deviations from the optimal frontier production function in coffee can be due to under-or overutilization of the factors of production and random exogenous shocks such as climate change, uncertainty of factor prices, and market variations [6]. Cheserek and Gichimu [13] noted that climate change had rendered significant proportions of traditional coffee growing zones less suitable for coffee production, thus causing a shift from optimal to suboptimal coffee growing zones, which affects crop yields and quality. ...
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Despite the increase in area under coffee in Kenya in the last decade, productivity has been on the decline. Numerous production technologies have been developed through on-station research but there has been limited on-farm research to assess the impact of these technologies at the farm level. On the other hand, smallholder farmers are endowed differently and this would positively or negatively affect the adoption of recommended technologies and hence coffee productivity. This study was carried out to evaluate the effects of socioeconomic factors and technology adoption on smallholder coffee productivity at the farm level. The study employed stratified random sampling where 376 farmers were randomly sampled from six cooperative societies which had been preselected using probability proportional to the size sampling technique. The effects of socioeconomic factors and technology adoption on coffee productivity were analyzed using the stochastic Cobb-Douglas production function. The study revealed that off-farm income, access to credit, type of land tenure, and land size had significant positive effects on coffee productivity. Therefore, coffee farmers should be encouraged to diversify their income sources and to embrace credit financing, as the government reviews land use policies to avail adequate agricultural land. The study further revealed that the adoption of recommended application rates of manure, fungicides, and pesticides had significant positive effects on coffee productivity. The adoption of these technologies should therefore be enhanced among small-scale farmers to improve coffee productivity at the farm level.
... Increased [CO 2 ] in air is also a key factor for coffee plant acclimation to high temperature; strengthening the photosynthetic pathway, metabolism, and antioxidant protection; and modifying gene transcription and mineral balance (Ramalho et al. 2013;Martins et al. 2014Martins et al. , 2016Ghini et al. 2015;Rodrigues et al. 2016). In this context, understanding the genetic determinism of coffee's adaptation to abiotic stress has become essential for creating new varieties (Cheserek and Gichimu 2012). ...
Coffee is cultivated in more than 70 countries of the intertropical belt where it has important economic, social and environmental impacts. As for many other crops, the development of molecular biology technics allowed to launch research projects for coffee analyzing gene expression. In the 90s decade, the first expression studies were performed by Northern-blot or PCR, and focused on genes coding enzymes of the main compounds (e.g., storage proteins, sugars, complex polysaccharides, caffeine and chlorogenic acids) found in green beans. Few years after, the development of 454 pyrosequencing technics generated expressed sequence tags (ESTs) obviously from beans but also from other organs (e.g., leaves and roots) of the two main cultivated coffee species, Coffea arabica and C. canephora. Together with the use of real-time quantitative PCR, these ESTs significantly raised the number of coffee gene expression studies leading to the identification of (1) key genes of biochemical pathways, (2) candidate genes involved in biotic and abiotic stresses as well as (3) molecular markers essential to assess the genetic diversity of the Coffea genus, for example. The development of more recent Illumina sequencing technology now allows large-scale transcriptome analysis in coffee plants and opens the way to analyze the effects on gene expression of complex biological processes like genotype and environment interactions, heterosis and gene regulation in polypoid context like in C. arabica. The aim of the present review is to make an extensive list of coffee genes studied and also to perform an inventory of large-scale sequencing (RNAseq) projects already done or on-going.
... Therefore, such crops are uniquely suited to cooler or drier environments: These environments can thus be considered ideal for smallholder agriculture. Conversely, plants of tropical and sub-tropical origin (such as those from the Saccharum and Coffea genera) lack any such mechanism for survival in cold temperatures (Sanghera 2011): Yet crops of these genera have an evolutionary affinity for wet conditions and have difficulty surviving in arid environments (Cheserek and Gichimu 2012;Stromberg 2011). Hence the growing conditions for plant species in these genera can be considered ideal for plantation production. ...
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This research examines the effects of inequality on long-run development within Brazil. I first exploit variation in temperature and precipitation to instrument for the local distribution of land in 1920 using a two stage least squares instrumental variables framework. My instrument is an index quantifying the suitability of local climatic conditions for plantation versus smallholder agriculture. I construct this index using information on the growing conditions of crops within certain plant taxonomies that are more biologically suited for smallholder or plantation production. I argue that this index more fully identifies the optimal environmental conditions for these two types of agricultural production, and I show that it serves as a robust predictor of local land inequality in the year 1920. IV estimates then reveal that greater inequality is associated with less local government spending on welfare and public goods over the 1995-2005 time period, as well as reductions in measures of local government quality and per-child education spending. It is also associated with lower levels of development, as measured by the local Human Development Index (HDI) for the year 2000. Inequality primarily affects the HDI through shorter life expectancies and lower incomes. I argue that the latter is consistent with the agrarian elite obstructing the transition of the local economy from agriculture to industry/services, as historically unequal municipalities contain a greater percentage of workers in the lower-wage agriculture sector, and this sector itself constitutes a larger share of local GDP.
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The aim of this study was to identify the correlation between photochemical efficiency and candidate genes expression to elucidate the drought tolerance mechanisms in coffee progenies (Icatu Vermelho IAC 3851-2 × Catimor UFV 1602-215) previously identified as tolerant in field conditions. Four progenies (2, 5, 12 and 15) were evaluated under water-deficit conditions (water deficit imposed 8 months after transplanting seedlings to the pots) and under irrigated system. Evaluations of physiological parameters and expression of candidate genes for drought tolerance were performed. Progeny 5 showed capacity to maintain water potential, which contributed to lower qP variation between irrigated and deficit conditions. However, the increases of qN and NPQ in response to stress indicate that this progeny is photochemically responsive to small variations of Ψam protecting the photosystem and maintaining qP. Data obtained for progeny 12 indicated a lower water status maintenance capacity, but with increased qN and NPQ providing maintenance of the ɸPSII and ETR parameters. A PCA analysis revealed that the genes coding regulatory proteins, ABA-synthesis, cellular protectors, isoforms of ascorbate peroxidase clearly displayed a major response to drought stress and discriminated the progenies 5 and 12 which showed a better photochemical response. The genes CaMYB1, CaERF017, CaEDR2, CaNCED, CaAPX1, CaAPX5, CaGolS3, CaDHN1 and CaPYL8a were up-regulated in the arabica coffee progenies with greater photochemical efficiency under deficit and therefore contributing to efficiency of the photosynthesis in drought tolerant progenies.
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Coffee Leaf Rust (CLR) is a fungal disease caused by Hemileia vastatrix Berk et Br. and is one of the major diseases of coffee. It causes premature leaf fall, yield loss and even death of the tree in severe cases. Coffee genotypes respond differently to biotic factors. This study was aimed at identifying potential sources of resistance genes to the disease. Forty five Coffea arabica L accessions were evaluated for their response to CLR under field conditions. CLR infection was assessed from the 45 genotypes subjected to similar field conditions in June 2010 when disease pressure was at peak. The experimental plot was laid out in a Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications. Each of the genotypes was represented by fifteen trees consisting of five trees per replication. Significant variation in tolerance to CLR was observed among the genotypes and some tolerant genotypes identified. HDT, Rumesudan, Barbuk Sudan, Ennareta, Geisha12, Babbaka Ghimira, Boma plateau and Tafari Kela were the most tolerant to CLR (recording a score of 0) while Drought Resistant II [DRII]) was the most susceptible recording a score of 8. Most of the accessions that demonstrated high phenotypic resistance have not been utilized as sources of resistance to CLR in coffee breeding programmes except HDT. Such genotypes could represent a highly valuable resource for C. arabica breeding against CLR if their reaction is confirmed.
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Increasing trends towards dry weather affect coffee cultivation in Ethiopia through high seedling mortality and poor plant growth, but very limited research has been conducted on the response of coffee varieties to water deficit stress. This study was conducted in Jimma, Southwest Ethiopia, to investigate the growth responses of seedlings of six Coffea arabica varieties to 15 or 30 days of moisture deficit followed by 15 days of re-watering. Growth responses were assessed by measuring morphological characteristics and growth rate after stress and re-watering. Repeated measures analysis revealed that differences among varieties depended on water stress and recovery periods for lateral root number (LRNo), root volume (RV) and net assimilation rate (NAR). Significant differences between 15- and 30-day stress, as well as 15-day recovery were also obtained for majority of measurements. Particularly, specific leaf area (SLA), leaf area ratio (LAR), and stem and leaf area growth rate of all varieties decreased significantly, whereas total dry matter (TDM) increased in response to 30-day stress. Plant height, girth, TDM, RV and NAR showed significant increase in response to the 15-day recovery. The highest values for plant height, internode length, leaf area and SLA were recorded during both stress and rewatering for Variety 741, followed by Varieties 7487, 744 and 7440 in that order, and the lowest values were recorded for Variety 74148. Key words: Coffea arabica seedlings, water deficit, morphological traits, growth response, repeated measures.
Four clones of Coffea canephora (Robusta coffee) representing drought-tolerant (14 and 120) and drought-sensitive (46 and 109A) genotypes were submitted to slowly imposed water deficit, until predawn leaf water potential approximately −3.0 MPa was reached. Drought-tolerant clones were better able to maintain their leaf water status than drought-sensitive clones after withholding irrigation. Regardless of the clones investigated, the net carbon assimilation rate decreased under drought stress, but little or no effect of drought on the quantum yield of electron transport was observed. The photosynthetic apparatus of clone 120 was more tolerant to both drought and paraquat-mediated oxidative stress, with no clear distinction amongst the other clones in this regard. Drought triggered increases in superoxide dismutase (clones 109A and 120), ascorbate peroxidase (clones 14, 46 and 109A), catalase and guaiacol peroxidase (clones 46 and 109A), and also in glutathione reductase (clone 46) and dehydroascorbate reductase (clone 109A). Activity of monodehydroascorbate reductase was not induced in drought-stressed plants. Maximal catalytic activities of the two last enzymes were much lower than that of ascorbate peroxidase, irrespective of the clone investigated. No drought-induced decrease in enzyme activity was found, except for glutathione reductase in clone 120. In any case, oxidative damage appeared to be evident only in clone 109A. A general link between protection against oxidative stress with differences in clonal tolerance to drought was not observed.
The decline of vegetative growth of Arabica coffee trees in Viçosa (20° 45′ S, 650 m altitude), Brazil, occurring from mid-March through late May, was observed in both irrigated and non-irrigated plants and did not show a direct relation with leaf water potential. Declining growth coincided with lowering temperatures, and particularly with increasing daily periods with low temperatures. Stomatal conductances in the morning (0800–0900 h) were relatively high until mid-March and decreased gradually in parallel with declining growth rates. During the quiescent growth phase in the cool season, starting from late May, stomata were closed for most of the diurnal period.
Seasonal changes in vegetative growth, leaf gas exchanges, carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) and carbohydrate status were monitored in de-fruited coffee trees (Coffea arabica L.) grown in the field, from October 1998 through September 1999, in Viçosa (20°45′S, 42°15′W, 650 m a.s.l.), southeastern Brazil. Of the total growth over the 12-month study period, 78% occurred in the warm, rainy season (October–March), and 22% during the cool, dry season (April–September). Throughout the active growth period, the rate of net carbon assimilation (A) averaged 8.6 μmol m−2 s−1, against 3.4 μmol m−2 s−1 during the period of reduced growth. In the active period, growth, unlike A or Δ, was strongly negatively correlated with air temperature. In contrast, growth and A were both correlated positively, and Δ correlated negatively, with air temperature during the reduced growth period. However, the depressions of A and growth might have simply run in parallel, without any causal relationship. Changes in A appeared to be largely due to stomatal limitations in the active growing season, with non-stomatal ones prevailing in the slow growth period. Foliar carbohydrates seemed not to have contributed appreciably to changes in growth rates and photosynthesis.
The effects of water deficit on photochemical parameters and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), as well as, cellular damages were investigated in two clones of Coffea canephora differing in drought tolerance. After 6 days without irrigation, predawn leaf water potential fell to −3.0 MPa that was accompanied by the suppression of net photosynthesis in both clones. The variable to maximum chlorophyll fluorescence ratio remained unchanged regardless of the imposed treatments. Both clones showed a similar decline (about 25%) in the photochemical quenching coefficient, but only the drought-sensitive clone exhibited an enhancement (31%) of thermal deactivation under water deficit conditions. The quantum yield of electron transport decreased similarly in both genotypes. Under drought conditions, activities of SOD, CAT and APX increased to a greater extent in the drought-tolerant clone than in the drought-sensitive one. This seemed to be matched with higher protection against oxidative stress, as judged from the lower levels of lipid peroxidation and electrolyte leakage in the drought-tolerant clone. Thus, the ability to increase the antioxidant system activity in order to limit cellular damages might be an important attribute linked to the drought tolerance in C. canephora.
The ecophysiological constraints on the production of the arabica and robusta coffee under shading or full sunlight are reviewed. These two species, which account for almost all the world’s production, were originally considered shade-obligatory, although unshaded plantations may out-yield shaded ones. As a rule, the benefits of shading increase as the environment becomes less favorable for coffee cultivation. Biennial production and branch die-back, which are strongly decreased under shading, are discussed. The relationships between gas exchange performance and key environmental factors are emphasized. Ecophysiological aspects of high density plantings are also examined.
Publisher Summary The potential for increased irrigation is limited, so that future population increases will need to be fed from higher food production per unit land area and without the aid of increased irrigation resources. Thus, for improved food production, rainfall and irrigation water will be used more efficiently and the importance of understanding and managing crop water deficits is a necessity. Clearly, improving the drought resistance of our food and fiber crops is of strategic importance and progress should be sustained. Although the new technologies of genetic engineering hold considerable promise, they will need to be coupled to traditional breeding and agronomy if these new technologies are to be fully utilized. In this chapter, the development of ideas and methodologies that have emerged during the past decade are reviewed and evaluated.