Recent Posts

Replaying the evolutionary tape to investigate subgenome dominance in allopolyploid Brassica napus (bioRxiv)

Following interspecific hybridization, one of the two parental genomes (aka subgenomes) tends to become dominant (more highly retained and expressed). What determines which of the subgenomes will become dominant, or is it random? To explore this question, Bird et al. made several crosses between Brassica…

Review: Revolutions in agriculture chart a course for targeted breeding of old and new crops ($) (Science)

A few traits are associated with domestication across many species. Eshed and Lippman provide an overview of the changes to plant stature and flowering time that have been repeatedly selected by our ancestors. By comparing the molecular underpinnings of these traits across crops, it becomes clear that…

Opinion: Towards lowering crop N requirement (Plant Cell Environ)

Current and future food production demands a lot of nitrogen (N) fertilizers. Inefficient N fertilization leads to N losses to the environment and generates greenhouse gases that cause environmental problems. In a recent article, Swarbreck and colleagues discuss a strategy to develop crop varieties with…

Development of drought tolerant breeding lines derived from Helianthus annuus × H. argophyllus interspecific crosses (Plant Breeding)

Due to climate change, drought stress is threatening sunflower yield, and phenotypic diversity could be the solution. Here Hussain et al. studied the introgression of silver canopy traits related to lower excised leaf water loss (high cuticular waxes, intense hairiness, and smaller leaf area) from the…

GmFT2a and GmFT5a collectively controls flowering of soybean (Plant Biotech. J)

Soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is a globally important high-protein crop, whose breeding is an ongoing, important objective for plant biologists. Since soybean is a short-day plant, controlling flowering time is a key step to influence its adaptation to diverse latitudes and farming system. Recently,…

High resolution mapping of RphMBR1012 conferring resistance to Puccinia hordei in barley (Front Plant Sci)

Barley leaf rust (Puccinia hordei) is a biotrophic fungus, in which mutations cause newly virulent races (pathothypes) with severe effects on cultivars. Marker-assisted Selection for Rph (Resistance to P. hordei) genes has been studied to provide sustainable control of this disease. Fazlikhani et al.…

Population genomic analysis of mango suggests a complex history of domestication ($) (New Phytol)

Mango trees have been cultivated for approximately 4000 years which places their domestication in the same timeline as that of walnut, peach, sweet orange, lychee, citron, sweet orange, lemon, and jujube. Throughout the process of domestication, most crops undergo severe bottlenecks which decrease genetic…

Development of genome-wide SNP markers for barley via reference- based RNA-Seq Analysis (Front Plant Sci)

The availability of marker-assisted systems is key for crop improvement, allowing trait selection by identifying consensus polymorphisms. However, for discriminating between related strains, these DNA markers are limited, time-consuming and expensive. Here, Tanaka et al. developed a RNA-Seq-based genotyping…

Review: CRISPR/Cas genome editing and precision plant breeding in agriculture (Annu Rev Plant Biol) ($)

To fulfill global food demand in the near future, plant researchers keep pursuing simpler and faster crop breeding strategies. CRISPR/Cas systems have been developed as a powerful tool for plant genome editing. In this review, Chen et al. highlight in detail advances in CRISPR/Cas9 and its variants and…