Crop Improvement
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2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (15) ◽  
pp. 8155
Rim Nefissi Ouertani ◽  
Dhivya Arasappan ◽  
Ghassen Abid ◽  
Mariem Ben Chikha ◽  
Rahma Jardak ◽  

Barley is characterized by a rich genetic diversity, making it an important model for studies of salinity response with great potential for crop improvement. Moreover, salt stress severely affects barley growth and development, leading to substantial yield loss. Leaf and root transcriptomes of a salt-tolerant Tunisian landrace (Boulifa) exposed to 2, 8, and 24 h salt stress were compared with pre-exposure plants to identify candidate genes and pathways underlying barley’s response. Expression of 3585 genes was upregulated and 5586 downregulated in leaves, while expression of 13,200 genes was upregulated and 10,575 downregulated in roots. Regulation of gene expression was severely impacted in roots, highlighting the complexity of salt stress response mechanisms in this tissue. Functional analyses in both tissues indicated that response to salt stress is mainly achieved through sensing and signaling pathways, strong transcriptional reprograming, hormone osmolyte and ion homeostasis stabilization, increased reactive oxygen scavenging, and activation of transport and photosynthesis systems. A number of candidate genes involved in hormone and kinase signaling pathways, as well as several transcription factor families and transporters, were identified. This study provides valuable information on early salt-stress-responsive genes in roots and leaves of barley and identifies several important players in salt tolerance.

2021 ◽  
Tekle Yoseph ◽  
Firew Mekbib ◽  
Berhanu Amsalu ◽  
Zerihun Tadele

Abstract Mung bean is an important pulse crop grown by poor farmers in marginal and drought-prone areas of Ethiopia. Information on the extent of genetic divergence in mung bean is vital to identify diverse genotypes for crop improvement and the efficient utilization of the existing genetic resources. Therefore, the objectives of the study were to assess the extent and pattern of morphological diversity among the mung bean genotypes and to identify the traits contributing to the genetic diversity using multivariate analyses. The experiment was conducted using 60 mung bean genotypes at Jinka Agricultural Research Center during the 2018 cropping season. The first seven principal components explained 80.1% of the total variation. Almost all the studied traits were important contributors to the divergence. The cluster analysis based on quantitative traits revealed four distinct groups. The highest inter-cluster distance was recorded between cluster I and cluster IV (D 2  = 43.16 units). The minimum inter-cluster distance was noted between cluster III and cluster IV (D2 = 12.16 units). The maximum and minimum intra-cluster distances D2 were recorded within cluster I (D2 = 6.49 units) and cluster III (D2 = 3.53 units), respectively). The range of intra and inter-cluster distance was 3.53 to 6.49 units and 12.16 to 43.16 units, respectively. Hence, the high genetic distance exhibited within and among clusters has to be exploited through the crossing and selection of the most divergent parents for future mung bean breeding programs.

Tamilzharasi Murugesan ◽  
Kumaresan Dharmalingam ◽  
Thiruvengadam Venkatesan ◽  
Souframanien Jegadeesan ◽  
Jayamani Palaniappan

Background: Blackgram is being cultivated as an indispensable pulse crop and a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Though the requirement for blackgram is high, the productivity is low. The ultimate aim of any plant breeder in a crop improvement program is to increase seed yield/ productivity. With this background, the current study was focused to investigate genetic variability/effects on important yield and its contributing traits of blackgram. Methods: The research material comprised of P1, P2, F1, F2 and F3 obtained from a cross between CO 6 and LBG 17 varieties in blackgram. Observations on nine biometrical traits were recorded from all these five populations for generation mean analysis. By employing Mather and Jinks (1971) scaling test of C and D, the suitability nature of the simple additive-dominance model can be identified. Following Hayman (1958) perfect fit solution, the mean of five generations (P1, P2, F1, F2 and F3) was utilized to calculate five parameters. Result: Fitted genetic model revealed as important yield and yield contributing traits governed by dominance and epistasis in this study, it indicates the selection may be postponed to later generations with greater homozygosity.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Mawuli K. Azameti ◽  
Wadzani Palnam Dauda

The ability to create targeted modifications in the genomes of plants using genome editing technologies has revolutionized research in crop improvement in the current dispensation of molecular biology. This technology has attracted global attention and has been employed in functional analysis studies in crop plants. Since many important agronomic traits are confirmed to be determined by single-nucleotide polymorphisms, improved crop varieties could be developed by the programmed and precise conversion of targeted single bases in the genomes of plants. One novel genome editing approach which serves for this purpose is base editing. Base editing directly makes targeted and irreversible base conversion without creating double-strand breaks (DSBs). This technology has recently gained quick acceptance and adaptation because of its precision, simplicity, and multiplex capabilities. This review focuses on generating different base-editing technologies and how efficient they are in editing nucleic acids. Emphasis is placed on the exploration and applications of these base-editing technologies to enhance crop production. The review also highlights the drawbacks and the prospects of this new technology.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Ali Razzaq ◽  
Parwinder Kaur ◽  
Naheed Akhter ◽  
Shabir Hussain Wani ◽  
Fozia Saleem

Climate change is a threat to global food security due to the reduction of crop productivity around the globe. Food security is a matter of concern for stakeholders and policymakers as the global population is predicted to bypass 10 billion in the coming years. Crop improvement via modern breeding techniques along with efficient agronomic practices innovations in microbiome applications, and exploiting the natural variations in underutilized crops is an excellent way forward to fulfill future food requirements. In this review, we describe the next-generation breeding tools that can be used to increase crop production by developing climate-resilient superior genotypes to cope with the future challenges of global food security. Recent innovations in genomic-assisted breeding (GAB) strategies allow the construction of highly annotated crop pan-genomes to give a snapshot of the full landscape of genetic diversity (GD) and recapture the lost gene repertoire of a species. Pan-genomes provide new platforms to exploit these unique genes or genetic variation for optimizing breeding programs. The advent of next-generation clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat/CRISPR-associated (CRISPR/Cas) systems, such as prime editing, base editing, and de nova domestication, has institutionalized the idea that genome editing is revamped for crop improvement. Also, the availability of versatile Cas orthologs, including Cas9, Cas12, Cas13, and Cas14, improved the editing efficiency. Now, the CRISPR/Cas systems have numerous applications in crop research and successfully edit the major crop to develop resistance against abiotic and biotic stress. By adopting high-throughput phenotyping approaches and big data analytics tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), agriculture is heading toward automation or digitalization. The integration of speed breeding with genomic and phenomic tools can allow rapid gene identifications and ultimately accelerate crop improvement programs. In addition, the integration of next-generation multidisciplinary breeding platforms can open exciting avenues to develop climate-ready crops toward global food security.

2021 ◽  
Vol 19 (1) ◽  
pp. 110-119
D.J. Nwosu ◽  
C. Nwadike

Hybridization programmes that potentially exploit the variability existing in the wild germplasm of Vigna unguiculata L. Walpers could be of great potential for the future of plant breeding. Bearing this in mind, four cultivated cowpea varieties (Achi shuru, Ife Brown, Kanannado and Zebra bean) were crossed to two of their wild relatives: subsp. dekindtiana var. pubescens and subsp. unguiculata var. spontanea to ascertain the cross compatibility, reproductive potential and possible heterosis in the F1 generations. Results showed that the cultivated varieties hybridized relatively well with their wild relatives showing pod set range of 42.9% to 52.3% in crosses with subsp. dekindtiana var. pubescens and 40.0% to 52.0% in crosses with subsp. unguiculata var. spontanea. The F1 hybrid plants showed high heterosis in plant height, number of leaves per plant, number of flowers per plant, number of pods per plant and percentage pod set. They also produced viable seeds for F2 generations. These results are indications of a good reproductive potential of the hybrids thus making the wild relatives, good sources of important gene pool for the improvement of the cultivated populations.

Plants ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (7) ◽  
pp. 1481
Florian Hahn ◽  
Laura Sanjurjo Sanjurjo Loures ◽  
Caroline A. Sparks ◽  
Kostya Kanyuka ◽  
Vladimir Nekrasov

CRISPR/Cas technology has recently become the molecular tool of choice for gene function studies in plants as well as crop improvement. Wheat is a globally important staple crop with a well annotated genome and there is plenty of scope for improving its agriculturally important traits using genome editing technologies, such as CRISPR/Cas. As part of this study we targeted three different genes in hexaploid wheat Triticum aestivum: TaBAK1-2 in the spring cultivar Cadenza as well as Ta-eIF4E and Ta-eIF(iso)4E in winter cultivars Cezanne, Goncourt and Prevert. Primary transgenic lines carrying CRISPR/Cas-induced indels were successfully generated for all targeted genes. While BAK1 is an important regulator of plant immunity and development, Ta-eIF4E and Ta-eIF(iso)4E act as susceptibility (S) factors required for plant viruses from the Potyviridae family to complete their life cycle. We anticipate the resultant homozygous tabak1-2 mutant lines will facilitate studies on the involvement of BAK1 in immune responses in wheat, while ta-eif4e and ta-eif(iso)4e mutant lines have the potential to become a source of resistance to wheat spindle streak mosaic virus (WSSMV) and wheat yellow mosaic virus (WYMV), both of which are important pathogens of wheat. As winter wheat varieties are generally less amenable to genetic transformation, the successful experimental methodology for transformation and genome editing in winter wheat presented in this study will be of interest to the research community working with this crop.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Pallas Kuo ◽  
Olivier Da Ines ◽  
Christophe Lambing

Meiosis is a specialized cell division that contributes to halve the genome content and reshuffle allelic combinations between generations in sexually reproducing eukaryotes. During meiosis, a large number of programmed DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are formed throughout the genome. Repair of meiotic DSBs facilitates the pairing of homologs and forms crossovers which are the reciprocal exchange of genetic information between chromosomes. Meiotic recombination also influences centromere organization and is essential for proper chromosome segregation. Accordingly, meiotic recombination drives genome evolution and is a powerful tool for breeders to create new varieties important to food security. Modifying meiotic recombination has the potential to accelerate plant breeding but it can also have detrimental effects on plant performance by breaking beneficial genetic linkages. Therefore, it is essential to gain a better understanding of these processes in order to develop novel strategies to facilitate plant breeding. Recent progress in targeted recombination technologies, chromosome engineering, and an increasing knowledge in the control of meiotic chromosome segregation has significantly increased our ability to manipulate meiosis. In this review, we summarize the latest findings and technologies on meiosis in plants. We also highlight recent attempts and future directions to manipulate crossover events and control the meiotic division process in a breeding perspective.

2021 ◽  
Vol 19 (1) ◽  
pp. 15-40
Nguyen Duc Thanh

Genome editing technology is the genome modification techniques, such as targeted mutagenesis or insert/delete/replacement at specific locations in the genome of living organisms. Genome editing is based on the creation of double sequence break (DSB) in a specific location and DNA repair via nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology direct repair (HDR). The development of sequence-specific nuclease (SSN) allows precise editing of the target gene. These SSNs include: meganuclease (MN), zinc finger nuclease (ZFN), transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) and CRISPR-associated nuclease (Cas) including CRISPR/Cas9 (from Streptococcus pyogenes) and CRISPR/Cpf1 (from Prevoltella and Francisella1). These are the genome editing tools used to create DSBs at specific locations of the genome. Recently, the base editing (BE) and prime editing (PE) tools have been reported. This review will cover the basics of these tools and their application in genome editing in plants, especially providing the most up-to-date information on their application in crop improvement.

Raju Mondal ◽  
Amit Kumar

Germplasm is a long-term resource management mission and investment for civilization. For both food and nutritional health, the present changing environmental scenario has become an urgent universal concern. Multiple excellent studies have been previously performed, although the advancement and innovation of practices will require the exploration of the potentiality of crop germplasm. In this study, we emphasized (i) germplasm activates, current challenges and ongoing trends of the crop germplasm, and (ii) how the system biology will be helpful to understand the complex traits such as water use efficiency (WUE), and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) to mitigate challenges for sustainable development under growing food requirement and climate change conditions. We focused on a vision for transforming PGR into a bio-digital resource system, for the development of climate-smart crops for sustainable food production. Moreover, this review attempted to address current challenges, research gaps and describe the advanced integrated strategies that could provide a platform for future crop improvement research.

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