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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SUNFLOWER GERMPLASM DIVERSIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION UTILIZING WILD SUNFLOWER SPECIES, CYTOGENETICS, AND APPLIED GENOMICS Title: Molecular techniques for sunflower breeding

Authors
item Liu, Zhao -
item Jan, Chao-Chien

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 14, 2011
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: Liu, Z., Jan, C. 2012. Molecular techniques for sunflower breeding. In: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Sunflower Genetics and Breeding: International Monography. Novi Sad, Republic of Serbia. Chapter 4, pp. 431-475.

Interpretive Summary: The "green revolution" in the second half of the last century developed high-yield dwarf wheat and rice, F1 hybrid maize and other crops with resistance to a variety of plant pests and diseases. How to produce enough good quality food for the increasing population with fewer resources is a serious concern. Crop improvement through breeding provides an effective approach to alleviate and improve the situation. Innovative methods and technologies on genetic variation, molecular biology, biotechnology, and genomics all became complementary to conventional plant breeding by creating the foundation for an interdisciplinary science, molecular plant breeding. Molecular breeding has played an important role for the improvement of a variety of crops, including sunflower. In this chapter, we reviewed and discussed molecular techniques applied to sunflower which are currently being used or could be used for different aspects of sunflower breeding. From the review, we see that the combination of conventional and molecular breeding will shorten the time to obtain desired varieties for agriculture. Molecular breeding will become a more and more important complementary part of conventional plant breeding. Combining all applicable methods, materials and knowledge together will help provide food security in the 21st century.

Technical Abstract: The "green revolution" in the second half of the last century developed high-yield crops with resistance to a variety of plant pests and diseases. How to produce enough good quality food for the increasing population with fewer resources is a serious concern to resolve the starvation problem in the world. Crop improvement through breeding provides an effective approach to alleviate and improve the situation. The conventional plant breeding methods during the 20th century were based on the fundamental discoveries of Darwin and Mendel. Innovative methods and technologies on genetic variation, molecular biology, biotechnology, and genomics all became complementary to conventional plant breeding by creating the foundation for an interdisciplinary science, molecular plant breeding. Molecular breeding has played an important role for the improvement of a variety of crops. In this chapter, we reviewed and discussed molecular techniques applied to sunflower which are currently being used or could be used for different aspects of sunflower breeding, such as the characterization of genetic diversity of germplasms, oil quality, cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) and restorer genes, response to diseases and stresses, plant development, as well as domestication and evolution of the cultivated sunflower and its relatives. From the review, we see that many marker systems have been developed; marker-assisted selection becomes applicable for gene-pyramiding of more traits into one plant genotype. Tremendous genetic diversity exists in wild sunflower species, which provide materials for better understanding the mechanisms of resistance to abiotic stresses. Numerous genes associated with response to biotic and abiotic stresses, as well as evolution and domestication and plant development, have been identified and characterized. Several BAC libraries, cDNA libraries and genetic maps have been constructed, and BAC-FISH protocols are available for sunflower, which provide the platforms for gene characterization and even map-based cloning. Comparative genomics study of sunflower to model plants have been started. Molecular breeding will become a more and more important complementary part of conventional plant breeding. Combining all applicable methods, materials and knowledge together will help provide food security in the 21st century.

Last Modified: 10/30/2014
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