Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #282011

Title: Genomics and breeding in food crops

item BROWN, ALLAN - North Carolina State University
item PATERSON, ANDREW - University Of Georgia
item Li, Li

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/10/2012
Publication Date: 6/20/2012
Citation: Brown, A., Paterson, A., Li, L. 2012. Genomics and breeding in food crops. In: Benkeblia, N., editor. OMICs technologies: tools for food science. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. p. 141-162.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Plant biology is in the midst of a revolution. The generation of tremendous volumes of sequence information introduce new technical challenges into plant biology and agriculture. The relatively new field of bioinformatics addresses these challenges by utilizing efficient data management strategies; generating and maintaining web based interfaces to access and submit information; and developing the algorithms necessary to compare multiple sequences and identify homology or conserved motifs in a reliable manner. Among the many new opportunities created by increased genomic data, of singular importance for crop improvement is the possibility of genotyping thousands of genes in a single pass, already a reality in some crops. One can envision the ability to routinely query entire transcriptomes or even genomes to identify variants that are of potential phenotypic importance - the limiting factor thus becoming the acquisition of ample high quality phenotypic data. In crops or non-crop plants where structural and functional information is limited, data from related or model crops can often be utilized. The extensive gene discovery resulting from “omics” technology, in addition to the development of ever more efficient gene transfer technologies, permits acceleration of crop improvement through biotechnological approaches. We review some of the best known cases of using genetic engineering techniques to breed biotech crops with value-added traits beyond those that improve plant performance in the field. Increased understanding of plant metabolic pathways permits the generation of biotech food crops with improved nutritional value and premium quality, complementing conventional and marker-aided approaches to provide plant breeders with unprecedented scope for crop improvements.