Tools and Techniques to Accelerate Crop Breeding

Plants (Basel). 2024 May 31;13(11):1520. doi: 10.3390/plants13111520.


As climate changes and a growing global population continue to escalate the need for greater production capabilities of food crops, technological advances in agricultural and crop research will remain a necessity. While great advances in crop improvement over the past century have contributed to massive increases in yield, classic breeding schemes lack the rate of genetic gain needed to meet future demands. In the past decade, new breeding techniques and tools have been developed to aid in crop improvement. One such advancement is the use of speed breeding. Speed breeding is known as the application of methods that significantly reduce the time between crop generations, thereby streamlining breeding and research efforts. These rapid-generation advancement tactics help to accelerate the pace of crop improvement efforts to sustain food security and meet the food, feed, and fiber demands of the world's growing population. Speed breeding may be achieved through a variety of techniques, including environmental optimization, genomic selection, CRISPR-Cas9 technology, and epigenomic tools. This review aims to discuss these prominent advances in crop breeding technologies and techniques that have the potential to greatly improve plant breeders' ability to rapidly produce vital cultivars.

Keywords: CRISPR-Cas9; crop improvement; epigenomics; genomic selection; microbes; speed breeding.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.