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Research Project: Genetic Analysis of Complex Traits in Maize

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Navigating complexity to breed disease-resistant crops

Author
item NELSON, REBECCA - Cornell University - New York
item WIESNER-HANKS, TYR - Cornell University - New York
item WISSER, RANDALL - University Of Delaware
item Balint-Kurti, Peter

Submitted to: Nature Reviews Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2017
Publication Date: 1/1/2018
Citation: Nelson, R., Wiesner-Hanks, T., Wisser, R., Balint Kurti, P.J. 2018. Navigating complexity to breed disease-resistant crops. Nature Reviews Genetics. 19:21-33.

Interpretive Summary: In this review we discuss what we know about disease resistance in plants at the molecular-genetic level, how it works and how best to use it.

Technical Abstract: Crop losses due to disease constitute a burden to global food security and agricultural sustainability. The use of genetic resistance is an environmentally-friendly way to reduce these losses. This paper considers the insights derived from various lines of research on disease resistance and management and their implications for resistance breeding. Complexity emerges as a theme at many levels. Complex forms of resistance tend to be more resilient than simple forms. The durability of a given plant resistance gene depends on its genetic context at genomic, field, and landscape scales, as well as on pathogen genetics and ecology and on the climate/environment at these scales. Exploiting insights at these various levels through new and traditional approaches to plant breeding can contribute to sustainable crop protection.