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Trends Plant Sci. 2005 Dec;10(12):621-30. Epub 2005 Nov 14.

Genomics-assisted breeding for crop improvement.

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  • 1Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Corrensstrasse 3, D-06466 Gatersleben, Germany. r.k.varshney@cgiar.org


Genomics research is generating new tools, such as functional molecular markers and informatics, as well as new knowledge about statistics and inheritance phenomena that could increase the efficiency and precision of crop improvement. In particular, the elucidation of the fundamental mechanisms of heterosis and epigenetics, and their manipulation, has great potential. Eventually, knowledge of the relative values of alleles at all loci segregating in a population could allow the breeder to design a genotype in silico and to practice whole genome selection. High costs currently limit the implementation of genomics-assisted crop improvement, particularly for inbreeding and/or minor crops. Nevertheless, marker-assisted breeding and selection will gradually evolve into 'genomics-assisted breeding' for crop improvement.

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