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Trends Plant Sci. 2012 Feb;17(2):91-101. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2011.11.003. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

A genetic playground for enhancing grain number in cereals.

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Leibniz-Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Interdisciplinary Center for Crop Plant Research (IZN) Research Group Stress Genomics, Corrensstr. 3, 06466 Gatersleben, Germany.


Improving the yield stability of cereal crops with a view to bolstering global food security is an important priority. The components of final grain number per plant at harvest are determined by fertile spikes per plant, number of fertile spikelets per spike and number of grains per spikelet. In this review article, we focus on the genetic factors of floral development and inflorescence architecture known to influence grain number and provide a broad overview of genes and genetic pathways that potentially can be manipulated to increase the yield of cereal crops, in particular wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare). In addition, we discuss the outcome of multidisciplinary genomics knowledge to identify potential gene targets to develop conceptual ideotypes to meet the future demand.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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