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Natural diversity in the new millennium

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Natural diversity has been extensively used to understand plant biology and improve crops. However, studies were commonly based on visual phenotypes or on a few measurable parameters. Moreover, the necessity to perform crosses precluded comparisons across species. Nowadays, a large number of parameters can be ...

Natural diversity has been extensively used to understand plant biology and improve crops. However, studies were commonly based on visual phenotypes or on a few measurable parameters. Moreover, the necessity to perform crosses precluded comparisons across species. Nowadays, a large number of parameters can be measured thanks to next generation sequencing, metabolomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics thus providing an unprecedented resolution in the detection of natural diversity. For instance, two plants morphologically identical may exhibit significantly different metabolomic and transcriptomic patterns. This enhanced resolution offers new possibilities in terms of understanding plant biology. The objective of this topic is to provide examples of how biological diversity can be used to understand plant physiology and improve crops. All types of articles are welcome (updates, original research, method development, reviews, opinions etc.). Moreover the term is used in a broad sense thus covering variations within and between species. The topic will also cover the dual aspects of biological diversity. Indeed, variation can be seen as an asset when choosing from a pool of different solutions for crop improvement. However, that same diversity creates a challenge for instance for plants to deal with the variation of pathogens.


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