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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00074

Meiosis research in orphan and non-orphan tropical crops

 Pablo Bolaños-Villegas1* and Orlando Arguello-Miranda2
  • 1University of Costa Rica, Costa Rica
  • 2University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, United States

Plant breeding is directly linked to the development of crops that can effectively adapt to challenging conditions such as soil nutrient depletion, water pollution, drought, and anthropogenic climate change. These conditions are extremely relevant in developing countries already burdened with population growth and unchecked urban expansion, especially in the tropical global southern hemisphere. Engineering new crops thus has potential to enhance food security, prevent hunger and spur sustainable agricultural growth. A major tool for the improvement of plant varieties in this context could be the manipulation of homologous recombination and genome haploidization during meiosis. The isolation or the design of mutations in key meiotic genes may facilitate DNA recombination and transmission of important genes quickly and efficiently. Genome haploidization through centromeric histone mutants could be an option to create new crosses rapidly. This review covers technical approaches to engineer key meiotic genes in tropical crops as a blueprint for future work and examples of tropical crops in which such strategies could be applied are given.

Keywords: Meiosis, Breeding - genetic variations and germplasm development, Tropical agricultural commodities, Food security, Climate change (adaptation), Orphan crops

Received: 06 Aug 2018; Accepted: 17 Jan 2019.

Edited by:

Tomás Naranjo, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

Reviewed by:

Veit Schubert, Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung (IPK), Germany
Dylan W. Phillips, Aberystwyth University, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2019 Bolaños-Villegas and Arguello-Miranda. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Pablo Bolaños-Villegas, University of Costa Rica, San José, 2060, San Jose, Costa Rica, pablo.bolanosvillegas@ucr.ac.cr