Breeding and biotechnological interventions for trait improvement: status and prospects

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Breeding and biotechnological interventions for trait improvement: status and prospects Roshan Kumar Singh1 · Ashish Prasad1 · Mehanathan Muthamilarasan2 · Swarup K. Parida1 · Manoj Prasad1  Received: 25 May 2020 / Accepted: 12 September 2020 © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Abstract Main conclusion  Present review describes the molecular tools and strategies deployed in the trait discovery and improvement of major crops. The prospects and challenges associated with these approaches are discussed. Abstract  Crop improvement relies on modulating the genes and genomic regions underlying key traits, either directly or indirectly. Direct approaches include overexpression, RNA interference, genome editing, etc., while breeding majorly constitutes the indirect approach. With the advent of latest tools and technologies, these strategies could hasten the improvement of crop species. Next-generation sequencing, high-throughput genotyping, precision editing, use of space technology for accelerated growth, etc. had provided a new dimension to crop improvement programmes that work towards delivering better varieties to cope up with the challenges. Also, studies have widened from understanding the response of plants to single stress to combined stress, which provides insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating tolerance to more than one stress at a given point of time. Altogether, next-generation genetics and genomics had made tremendous progress in delivering improved varieties; however, the scope still exists to expand its horizon to other species that remain underutilized. In this context, the present review systematically analyses the different genomics approaches that are deployed for trait discovery and improvement in major species that could serve as a roadmap for executing similar strategies in other crop species. The application, pros, and cons, and scope for improvement of each approach have been discussed with examples, and altogether, the review provides comprehensive coverage on the advances in genomics to meet the ever-growing demands for agricultural produce. Keywords  Molecular markers · Genomics-assisted breeding · Speed breeding · Transgenics · RNA interference · Gene editing


Communicated by Gerhard Leubner. Roshan Kumar Singh and Ashish Prasad contributed equally. Electronic supplementary material  The online version of this article (https​://​5-020-03465​-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. * Manoj Prasad [email protected] 1

National Institute of Plant Genome Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, India

Department of Plant Sciences, School of Life Sciences, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, Telangana 500046, India


The human population is growing at a tremendous rate, and it is projected to reach 10 billion by 2050. This necessitates the need to produce enough grains to meet the food and nutritional security. Thus, agriculture holds the key to meet the needs of

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