About this Research Topic
This Research Topic aims to provide the latest findings in meiosis, including new insights in meiotic recombination and chromatin organisation, as well as new approaches to modulate the recombination landscape and local targeted recombination.
The United Nations projected that the world population will reach 9.8 billion people by 2050. The increase in world population has caused a surge in food, energy and water consumption. In the 20th Century, the increased population in high income countries was matched with an increased food production from expansion of land under cultivation, the introduction of pesticides and fertilizers, and improved agricultural practices. This period is also known as the “Green Revolution”. However, plant physiology and the yield of biomass production in optimal conditions have not been significantly improved, leading to speculation that a “Genetic revolution” is needed to meet the future demand for calories and micronutrients from a growing population, in the face of climatic change. A better understanding of meiosis can greatly help plant breeding programs. For instance, the creation of hyper-recombinant lines can facilitate the detection of genes underlying QTLs, break linkage drags, and create positive new combination of alleles under selected environments.
However, several challenges remain to be elucidated. It is still unclear what are the factors that specify the recombination landscape, both locally and at the chromosome scale. It is also not fully understood what the limiting factors are to promote recombination and whether recombination in centromeric proximal regions can be achieved at a significant level to benefit breeders without altering genome stability. The study of meiosis in non-model species is currently limited, and extending our understanding of meiosis in non-conventional plant species could reveal new interesting mechanistic aspects of recombination. Meiosis is also very important for plant genome evolution and ploidy stabilization. Additional studies are needed in order to better understand how meiosis evolved to stabilize a genome with multiple homologous or homeologous chromosomes. The methodologies used to investigate meiosis are constantly improving, with the recent use of high-resolution microscopy, genomic techniques to profile recombination and chromatin marks, and the use of CRISPR for mutagenesis and targeted recombination. Lastly, the impact of the environment on meiosis is unclear, while it can have profound impact on fertility and seed production.
We welcome manuscripts that provide physiological insights towards tackling these problems and fall within the scope of meiosis, chromosome biology, DNA repair, genome evolution, epigenetics, and homologous recombination. Studies conducted in model plant species, crops and non-model species are all welcome. The type of manuscripts welcomed for this Research Topic are Original Research, Review, Mini Review, Methods and Perspective articles.
Keywords: Meiosis, epigenetics, Genome evolution, DNA double-strand break, homologous recombination
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