Towards molecular breeding of reproductive traits in cereal crops

Dwivedi, S and Perotti, E and Ortiz, R (2008) Towards molecular breeding of reproductive traits in cereal crops. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 6 (6). pp. 529-559. ISSN 1467-7652

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The transition from vegetative to reproductive phase, flowering per se, floral organ development, panicle structure and morphology, meiosis, pollination and fertilization, cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) and fertility restoration, and grain development are the main reproductive traits. Unlocking their genetic insights will enable plant breeders to manipulate these traits in cereal germplasm enhancement. Multiple genes or quantitative trait loci (QTLs) affecting flowering (phase transition, photoperiod and vernalization, flowering per se), panicle morphology and grain development have been cloned, and gene expression research has provided new information about the nature of complex genetic networks involved in the expression of these traits. Molecular biology is also facilitating the identification of diverse CMS sources in hybrid breeding. Few Rf (fertility restorer) genes have been cloned in maize, rice and sorghum. DNA markers are now used to assess the genetic purity of hybrids and their parental lines, and to pyramid Rf or tms (thermosensitive male sterility) genes in rice. Transgene(s) can be used to create de novo CMS trait in cereals. The understanding of reproductive biology facilitated by functional genomics will allow a better manipulation of genes by crop breeders and their potential use across species through genetic transformation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: CMS and Rf systems, floral organ development model, Fowering, gene expression, gene/QTL cloning, inflorescence architecture, MADS-box genes, meiosis, transgenics
Subjects: Others > Genetics and Genomics
Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2011 13:53
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2011 06:08
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: Sangam Dwivedi is grateful to the library staff of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) (India) for assistance in literature searches and sourcing reprints, to Jonathan Crouch [International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico] and H. D. Upadhyaya (ICRISAT, India) for support during the development of the manuscript, and to K. J. Edwards (editor) and an anonymous reviewer of Plant Biotechnology Journal for making useful suggestions on improving the manuscript. He also gratefully acknowledges the editorial input of Mike Listman and Allison Gillies (CIMMYT, Mexico) in a previous version of the manuscript.
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