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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item De Los Reyes, Benildo
item Lakshman, Dilip
item Yun, Song Joong
item Ressom, Habtom

Submitted to: Agricultural Biotechnology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/11/2009
Publication Date: 11/20/2009
Citation: de los Reyes, B.G., Lakshman, D.K., Yun, S.J., Ressom, H. 2009. Agricultural Genomics. In: Nag, A., editor. Textbook of Agricultural Biotechnology. India: Prentice Hall of India Learning Private Limited. p. 55-88.

Interpretive Summary: The next big challenge facing agriculture is the ability to sustain food and fiber production amidst the rapidly growing world population while maintaining the integrity of our natural resources and environment. Plant breeding by conventional methods (hybridization, backcrossing and selection) has been and will continue to play a central role in ensuring agricultural sustainability. However, addressing the increasing complexity of agronomic issues related to ever-changing crop production ecology (i.e., biotic and abiotic factors) requires high level of precision in the breeding process and availability of innovative methods to complement the limitations of traditional approaches. Both of these elements must be well established in order to realize the full genetic potential of crop species and to further break into the so called yield frontier. In order to establish these elements, new genetic paradigms are continuously being developed based on comprehensive knowledge about the structure, function and evolution of plant genomes. This chapter summarizes both the established and emerging paradigms in plant genome research. Integration of knowledge generated from the different layers of genomics research presented in this chapter will ensure continuous and systematic (global scale) progress in gene discovery and applied plant biology.

Technical Abstract: In order to continuously provide the fundamental basis for the development of innovative crop improvement strategies, the current major goal of plant biology is focused on establishing direct links between a genotype defined in terms of genetic variation at the DNA sequence level and a phenotype defined in terms of biological function of genes within the context of cellular physiology and biochemistry related to growth, development, reproduction and adaptation. The current experimental pipeline for addressing this goal is based on four major components of plant genomics that include: (1) comprehensive molecular genetic and physical maps, (2) whole genome sequences of model species, i.e., rice and Arabidopsis, (3) gene discovery by global gene expression profiling, and (4) reverse genetics by transgene expression and tagged mutation analyses. Synergy among these four major components facilitates integration of genetic knowledge at the molecular, cellular and phenotypic levels, thus consistent with the central biological theme of ‘genes to biochemical pathways to phenotype(s)’ or vice versa. The science of genomics has taken the center stage towards the modernization and enhancement of efficiency of the breeding process through the development of novel genome-based manipulation and improvement strategies. This chapter summarizes both the established and emerging paradigms in plant genome research and the important implications of the resulting discoveries to both basic and applied aspects of plant biology. Information about the two current plant genetic models (rice and Arabidopsis) is emphasized.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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