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Next Generation Genomics and Genetics for Accelerating Genetic Gain in Plant Breeding: Some Examples in Grain Legumes

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Next Generation Genomics and Genetics for Accelerating Genetic Gain in Plant Breeding: Some Examples in Grain Legumes

When combined with precise phenotyping methods, these technologies provide a powerful and rapid tool for identifying the genetic basis of agriculturally important traits. NGS technologies have also directly impacted the kind of plant science research that is undertaken in both the basic and translational research arenas. For instance, using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, large-scale genomic resources, comprehensive transcriptome assemblies, genome sequences and re-sequencing data have been assembled in even less studied legumes such as chickpea, pegionpea and groundnut. Furthermore, using linkage mapping approach, a “QTL-hotspot” harboring QTLs for several drought tolerance traits was identified in chickpea and successfully introgressed in 3 leading chickpea varieties (e.g. JG 11, Chefe, KAK2) through marker-assisted backcrossing (MABC) approach. The MABC lines showed upto 12% and 24% higher yield than the recurrent parents under rainfed and irrigated conditions. It is our hope that the application of NGS technologies in plant breeding would accelerate the development of improved varieties with yield advantage that could enhance food security in many developing countries.
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