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Molecular Breeding for Complex Adaptive Traits: How Integrating Crop Ecophysiology and Modelling Can Enhance Efficiency

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Hammer, G., Messina, C., van Oosterom, E., Chapman, S., Singh, V., Borrell, A., Jordan, D. and Cooper, M. (2016) Molecular Breeding for Complex Adaptive Traits: How Integrating Crop Ecophysiology and Modelling Can Enhance Efficiency. In: Crop Systems Biology. Springer International Publishing. ISBN 978-3-319-20562-5

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20562-5_7


Progress in crop improvement is limited by the ability to identify favourable combinations of genotypes (G) and management practices (M) in relevant target environments (E) given the resources available to search among the myriad of possible combinations. To underpin yield advance we require prediction of phenotype based on genotype. In plant breeding, traditional phenotypic selection methods have involved measuring phenotypic performance of large segregating populations in multi-environment trials and applying rigorous statistical procedures based on quantitative genetic theory to identify superior individuals. Recent developments in the ability to inexpensively and densely map/sequence genomes have facilitated a shift from the level of the individual (genotype) to the level of the genomic region. Molecular breeding strategies using genome wide prediction and genomic selection approaches have developed rapidly. However, their applicability to complex traits remains constrained by gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, which restrict the predictive power of associations of genomic regions with phenotypic responses. Here it is argued that crop ecophysiology and functional whole plant modelling can provide an effective link between molecular and organism scales and enhance molecular breeding by adding value to genetic prediction approaches. A physiological framework that facilitates dissection and modelling of complex traits can inform phenotyping methods for marker/gene detection and underpin prediction of likely phenotypic consequences of trait and genetic variation in target environments. This approach holds considerable promise for more effectively linking genotype to phenotype for complex adaptive traits. Specific examples focused on drought adaptation are presented to highlight the concepts.

Item Type:Book Section
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Keywords:Genotype-to-phenotype – Phenotypic prediction – Trait physiology – QTL – Functional genomics – Crop improvement
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Plant culture > Field crops
Live Archive:07 Mar 2016 05:15
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:50

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