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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Forage and Range Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #391563

Research Project: Improved Plant Genetic Resources and Methodologies for Rangelands, Pastures, and Turf Landscapes in the Semiarid Western U.S.

Location: Forage and Range Research

Title: Accelerated domestication of new crops - It is all about improving yields

Author
item LUO, GUANGBIN - University Of Copenhagen
item NAJAFI, JAVAD - University Of Copenhagen
item CORREIR, PEDRO - University Of Copenhagen
item TRINH, MAI DUY LUU TRI - University Of Copenhagen
item CHAPMAN, ELIZABETH - Carlsberg Research Laboratory
item OSTERBERG, JEPPE THULIN - Carlsberg Research Laboratory
item THOMSEN, HANNE CECILIE - Carlsberg Research Laboratory
item PEDAS, PAI ROSAGER - Carlsberg Research Laboratory
item Larson, Steven
item KNUDSEN, SOREN - Carlsberg Research Laboratory
item DEHAAN, LEE - The Land Institute
item PALMGREN, MICHAEL - University Of Copenhagen

Submitted to: Plant Cell Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2022
Publication Date: 5/17/2022
Citation: Luo, G., Najafi, J., Correir, P., Trinh, M., Chapman, E., Osterberg, J., Thomsen, H., Pedas, P., Larson, S.R., Knudsen, S., Dehaan, L., Palmgren, M. 2022. Accelerated domestication of new crops - It is all about improving yields. Plant Cell Physiology. pcac065. https://doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcac065.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcac065

Interpretive Summary: Sustainable agriculture in the future will depend on crops that are tolerant to environmental stresses such as heat and drought, resistant to disease, and require minimal additions of water and fertilizer. Sustainable agriculture will also depend on reducing emissions of CO2 required to put food on the table and increasing the conversion of atmospheric CO2 into stable organic compounds. Wild plants that fulfil most of these requirements abound in nature, but they typically yield fewer or smaller edible parts that are usually more difficult to harvest, compared to domesticated crops. Generally, crop domestication is associated with loss-of natural functions in a relatively small number of genes, collectively known as domestication genes, resulting from the accumulation of rare mutations that subdue wild plant attributes to the benefit of people. Although historical processes of crop domestication required thousands of years, comparisons of domesticated plants and their wild relatives have revealed the identify of many key domestication genes. We identified barriers to the domestication of wild plants and precise new techniques of gene editing or DNA mutagenesis that can be used to overcome these roadblocks. De novo domestication of orphan or crop wild relatives using mutagenesis is considered as an alternative and fast approach to achieve resilient crops with high yield. Application of this approach should make it possible to domesticate more sustainable crops in a much shorter period of time than ever before in the history of agriculture.

Technical Abstract: Sustainable agriculture in the future will depend on crops that are tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses, require minimal input in the form of water and nutrients, and the cultivation of which results in a minimal carbon footprint. Wild plants that fulfil these requirements abound in nature but are typically low yielding. Thus, replacing current high-yielding crops with less productive but resilient species will require increasing land area under cultivation to produce the same yield. Cultivating more land harms remaining nature, reduces biodiversity and increases the carbon footprint. Conventional breeding programs have been conducted to deliver high yield and consequently many useful traits associated with stress tolerance in plants were overlooked. Generally, crop domestication is associated with loss-of natural function of a few genes, collectively known as domestication genes, that when mutated result in a domestication phenotype. De novo domestication of orphan or crop wild relatives using mutagenesis is considered as an alternative and fast approach to achieve resilient crops with high yield. Development of new precise molecular techniques should make it possible to close the yield gap in a much shorter period of time than ever before in the history of agriculture.