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Translational genomics for improving dryland crops

Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2019) Translational genomics for improving dryland crops. In: 13th International Conference on Development of Drylands: Converting Dryland Areas from Grey into Green, 11 - 14 February 2019, Jodhpur, India.

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Although crop improvement programs have made excellent progress in enhancing crop productivity and production, there is still a huge scope to fill the yield gap for majority of crops in dryland areas. Genomics-assisted breeding can help enhancing crop productivity as well as nutrition in these crops. However, until recently, majority of the dryland crops have remained untouched with genomics revolution. Two key reasons for this situation include engagement of only few institutes and availability of limited resources at international level for research and development in these crops.

With an objective to address these issues, the Center of Excellence in Genomics and Systems Biology (CEGSB) at International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) floated several multi-institutional consortia. As a result of collaborative efforts from such strong partnership, a large number of genomic resources including genome assemblies for 9 crops have been developed and several improved lines have been developed through molecular breeding. In summary, translational genomics approach has transformed the so-called ‘orphan crops’ to ‘genomic resources-rich crops’ and contributed to develop several improved lines in some dryland crops.

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