Physiological breeding

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2016 Jun;31:162-71. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2016.04.005. Epub 2016 May 7.


Physiological breeding crosses parents with different complex but complementary traits to achieve cumulative gene action for yield, while selecting progeny using remote sensing, possibly in combination with genomic selection. Physiological approaches have already demonstrated significant genetic gains in Australia and several developing countries of the International Wheat Improvement Network. The techniques involved (see Graphical Abstract) also provide platforms for research and refinement of breeding methodologies. Recent examples of these include screening genetic resources for novel expression of Calvin cycle enzymes, identification of common genetic bases for heat and drought adaptation, and genetic dissection of trade-offs among yield components. Such information, combined with results from physiological crosses designed to test novel trait combinations, lead to more precise breeding strategies, and feed models of genotype-by-environment interaction to help build new plant types and experimental environments for future climates.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Breeding*
  • Droughts
  • Hot Temperature
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Triticum / metabolism
  • Triticum / physiology


  • Plant Proteins