About this Research Topic
The increasing demand for plant products in a climate change scenario is a major challenge for breeders, who need to develop varieties that are more productive, resilient, and efficient in the use of resources. Crop wild relatives (CWRs) are a largely unexplored source of genetic variation for many traits, particularly tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, but also other traits that can improve the yield, quality, and resilience of our crops. Therefore, introgression breeding from CWRs is an efficient way to make available unexploited gene pools to breeders, and can also make an effective contribution to broadening the genetic base of our crops. However, the use of CWRs in breeding is not an easy task. In this way, breeding barriers between CWRs from the secondary and tertiary gene pools often difficult or, in practice, prevent their use in breeding. In addition, CWRs usually display a syndrome of traits that are pivotal for survival in the wild, such as physical and chemical defenses, dormancy, or mechanisms for seeds dispersal (easy seed shattering) among others, that are undesirable in cultivated species. Despite these difficulties, capturing the useful genetic diversity from CWRs through pre-breeding efforts combining a broad array of conventional and new molecular techniques provides new opportunities to develop a new generation of plant materials with introgressions from CWRs with improved yield, resilience, and quality.
With this Research Topic, we aim to cover current knowledge and approaches facilitating the use of crop wild relatives in introgression breeding. The combination of conventional breeding approaches with tools derived from ‘omics’ and/or new plant breeding techniques is of special interest in improving the efficiency of introgression breeding. We welcome Original Research, Review and Methods contributions on introgression breeding in crops falling under (but not limited to) the following categories:
-Exploring the diversity and potential of CWRs for introgression breeding
-Interspecific hybridization and backcross breeding: barriers and overcoming them
-Development of populations with introgressions from CWRs: introgression lines, chromosome substitution lines, advanced backcrosses, and others
-Characterization and evaluation of populations with introgressions from CWRs for simple and complex traits
-‘Omics’ applications to introgression breeding
-Cis-genesis for introgression of CWRs genes into crops
-Mimicking introgression breeding by gene editing of alleles of crops to recreate CWR alleles
-Gene editing of CWRs to facilitate their use in breeding
Keywords: Crop wild relatives, introgression, genetic diversity, genomics, new plant breeding techniques
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.