About this Research Topic
Ever-increasing world population, new emerging abiotic and biotic stresses, and decreasing arable land pose serious challenges to our goal of achieving food security. According to estimates by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, over 815 million people around the world lack adequate access to food, and this number is expected to grow by 2 billion by 2050. These challenges strengthen the need for innovative solutions to increase resilience and bolster agricultural production. There is a need to devote more efforts and innovations to sustainably increase crop production, improve the global food supply chain, and minimize crop losses.
Development of high-yielding climate resilient varieties can help achieve food security in a sustainable manner. Crop breeding efforts that incorporated new genes and methods in the mid-nineteenth century resulted in huge increases in crop production leading to the first green revolution. For example, India saw more than a tenfold increase in annual wheat production (from 10 million tons in the 1960s to 100 million tons in 2018). According to some estimates, the green revolution helped save almost one billion people from hunger. So far, the classical plant breeding methods have been instrumental in bringing desirable improvement in crops. However, given the challenges and the time scale, it is imperative to combine traditional breeding methods with modern molecular breeding tools and functional genomics data to help bring desirable improvements in agriculture in a faster pace. Technological advances (quantitative genetics, molecular breeding, statistics, genomics, bioinformatics, and many other related disciplines) offer unprecedented opportunities to study complex traits and generate knowledge and resources to genetically improve crops, thereby enhancing agricultural productivity in a fast but sustainable manner. The combination of traditional and new plant breeding technologies (NPBTs) such as gene editing (e.g., CRISPR-Cas), marker assisted selection, genomic selection, and whole genome genetic analysis have the potential to bring desirable genetic improvements in crops to address the issue of food security in a sustainable manner.
Overall, food security can be addressed by different ways, including 1) bringing desirable genetic changes for enhanced crop production and 2) ensuring easy access of nutritious food to people suffering from hunger and malnutrition. This Research Topic aims to focus on the first target by highlighting the research involving new or emerging technologies to breed high-yielding crops, which can also be biotic and abiotic stress-resistant. This Topic will welcome Original Research, Review, Opinion, and General Commentary articles covering:
• Genetic dissection (association mapping, QTL mapping for gene/QTL discovery) of traits related to yield, biotic and abiotic stress resistance.
• Cloning and deployment of important genes
• Development and application of resources for enhancing crop production.
• Genomics-assisted breeding for yield improvement.
• Genomics-assisted breeding for biotic and abiotic stress resistance.
• Gene editing to enhance crop production and crop protection.
Topic Editor Deepmala Sehgal is employed by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. All other topic editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject
Keywords: yield, biotic stress, abiotic stress, genomic selection, association mapping, gene editing, QTL mapping, QTL cloning, trait improvement
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.