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Genomics and breeding innovations for enhancing genetic gain for climate resilience and nutrition traits

Sinha, P., Singh, V.K., Bohra, A., Kumar, A., Reif, J.C. and Varshney, R.K.ORCID: 0000-0002-4562-9131 (2021) Genomics and breeding innovations for enhancing genetic gain for climate resilience and nutrition traits. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 134 . pp. 1829-1843.

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Accelerating genetic gain in crop improvement programs with respect to climate resilience and nutrition traits, and the realization of the improved gain in farmers’ fields require integration of several approaches. This article focuses on innovative approaches to address core components of the breeder’s equation. A prerequisite to enhancing genetic variance (σ2g) is the identification or creation of favorable alleles/haplotypes and their deployment for improving key traits. Novel alleles for new and existing target traits need to be accessed and added to the breeding population while maintaining genetic diversity. Selection intensity (i) in the breeding program can be improved by testing a larger population size, enabled by the statistical designs with minimal replications and high-throughput phenotyping. Selection priorities and criteria to select appropriate portion of the population too assume an important role. The most important component of breeder′s equation is heritability (h2). Heritability estimates depend on several factors including the size and the type of population and the statistical methods. The present article starts with a brief discussion on the potential ways to enhance σ2g in the population. We highlight statistical methods and experimental designs that could improve trait heritability estimation. We also offer a perspective on reducing the breeding cycle time (t), which could be achieved through the selection of appropriate parents, optimizing the breeding scheme, rapid fixation of target alleles, and combining speed breeding with breeding programs to optimize trials for release. Finally, we summarize knowledge from multiple disciplines for enhancing genetic gains for climate resilience and nutritional traits.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Crop and Food Innovation
Food Futures Institute
Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
Publisher: Springer
Copyright: © The Author(s) 2021
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