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Nat Rev Genet. 2015 Apr;16(4):237-51. doi: 10.1038/nrg3901. Epub 2015 Mar 10.

Genetic mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance that translate to crop yield stability.

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Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.
1] Center for Plant Cell Biology, Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California Riverside, California 92521, USA. [2] Institute of Environmental Biology, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584 CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Crop yield reduction as a consequence of increasingly severe climatic events threatens global food security. Genetic loci that ensure productivity in challenging environments exist within the germplasm of crops, their wild relatives and species that are adapted to extreme environments. Selective breeding for the combination of beneficial loci in germplasm has improved yields in diverse environments throughout the history of agriculture. An effective new paradigm is the targeted identification of specific genetic determinants of stress adaptation that have evolved in nature and their precise introgression into elite varieties. These loci are often associated with distinct regulation or function, duplication and/or neofunctionalization of genes that maintain plant homeostasis.

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