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Genomics-Enabled Next-Generation Breeding Approaches For Developing System-Specific Drought Tolerant Hybrids In Maize

T. Nepolean, J. Kaul, Ganapati Mukri, Shikha Mittal
Published 2018 · Biology, Medicine

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Breeding science has immensely contributed to the global food security. Several varieties and hybrids in different food crops including maize have been released through conventional breeding. The ever growing population, decreasing agricultural land, lowering water table, changing climate, and other variables pose tremendous challenge to the researchers to improve the production and productivity of food crops. Drought is one of the major problems to sustain and improve the productivity of food crops including maize in tropical and subtropical production systems. With advent of novel genomics and breeding tools, the way of doing breeding has been tremendously changed in the last two decades. Drought tolerance is a combination of several component traits with a quantitative mode of inheritance. Rapid DNA and RNA sequencing tools and high-throughput SNP genotyping techniques, trait mapping, functional characterization, genomic selection, rapid generation advancement, and other tools are now available to understand the genetics of drought tolerance and to accelerate the breeding cycle. Informatics play complementary role by managing the big-data generated from the large-scale genomics and breeding experiments. Genome editing is the latest technique to alter specific genes to improve the trait expression. Integration of novel genomics, next-generation breeding, and informatics tools will accelerate the stress breeding process and increase the genetic gain under different production systems.
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