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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2004 Apr;7(2):226-30.

Genomics applications to biotech traits: a revolution in progress?

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Mendel Biotechnology, 21375 Cabot Boulevard, Hayward, California 94545, USA.


Twenty years since the inception of the agricultural biotechnology era, only two products have had a significant impact in the market place: herbicide-resistant and insect-resistant crops. Additional products have been pursued but little success has been achieved, principally because of limited understanding of key genetic intervention points. Genomics tools have fueled a new strategy for identifying candidate genes. Primarily thanks to the application of functional genomics in Arabidopsis and other plants, the industry is now overwhelmed with candidate genes for transgenic intervention points. This success necessitates the application of genomics to the rapid validation of gene function and mode of action. As one example, the development of C-box binding factors (CBFs) for enhanced freezing and drought tolerance has been rapidly advanced because of the improved understanding generated by genomics technologies.

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