AKILA CHANDRA SEKHAR
Articles written in Journal of Biosciences
Volume 45 All articles Published: 25 September 2020 Article ID 0123 Review
Crop improvement is a continuous effort, since some 10,000 years ago when primitive man made the transitionfrom hunting and foraging to domestication and crop cultivation. Since then, man-made interventions havechanged the entire scenario of crop evolution, by means of genetic alterations of plants and animals made tosatisfy man’s needs. The process of domestication has led to dramatic changes in their appearance, quality andproductivity that have contributed substantially to global food security. The tremendous decline in cultivableland, freshwater, and increasing risk of biotic and abiotic stress demand immediate attention on cropimprovement to cope with the higher demand of ~40% of the food by 2020. Therefore, plant genetic variationplays a key role in plant breeding for its improvement. Most of the genetic variations useful for cropimprovement have been deposited and maintained in seed gene banks across the world; they need to be broughtinto the mainstream of breeding lines. Recent advances and progress made in molecular markers have beensubstantial tools for deeper insights of genetics, and greatly complemented breeding strategies. Integration of thenext-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies with precise phenotyping, association mapping, proteome andmetabolome studies has increased the chances of finding candidate genes and their allelic variants controlling atrait of interest. Further, these functional markers (FMMs), genotype-by-sequencing and association mappingmethodologies have opened new avenues for identification of novel genetic resources (lines) that can facilitateaccelerated crop breeding programs for increased yield, high nutritional quality, and tolerance to a variety ofabiotic and biotic stresses. The details of popular molecular markers, advancement in the technologies andstrategies for crop diversity studies and their application in crop breeding programs are presented here.
Volume 45, 2020
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