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, 12 (6), e1001883

Harvesting the Promising Fruits of Genomics: Applying Genome Sequencing Technologies to Crop Breeding


Harvesting the Promising Fruits of Genomics: Applying Genome Sequencing Technologies to Crop Breeding

Rajeev K Varshney et al. PLoS Biol.


Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies are being used to generate whole genome sequences for a wide range of crop species. When combined with precise phenotyping methods, these technologies provide a powerful and rapid tool for identifying the genetic basis of agriculturally important traits and for predicting the breeding value of individuals in a plant breeding population. Here we summarize current trends and future prospects for utilizing NGS-based technologies to develop crops with improved trait performance and increase the efficiency of modern plant breeding. It is our hope that the application of NGS technologies to plant breeding will help us to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Role of NGS in genomics-assisted breeding.
NGS occupies a critical position in a genomics-assisted breeding pipeline; it helps improve the speed and precision of trait mapping to identify genes and QTLs that are the targets of MAS, and it underlies the ability to calculate GEBVs based on genome-wide prediction that predict the breeding value of individuals in a breeding population using GS.

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Grant support

RKV thanks the Australia Indo-Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) and Department of Biotechnology, Government of India for sponsoring research at ICRISAT on the topics mentioned in the article. RT thanks the Programme for Promotion of Basic and Applied Researches for Innovations in Bio-oriented Industry, Japan, Grant-in-aid for MEXT (Scientific Research on Innovative Areas 23113009) and JSPS KAKENHI (Grant No. 24248004). SMc thanks the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program (Grant #1026555) and the Global Crop Diversity Trust. This study has been undertaken as a part of CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes. ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR consortium. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.