Topical Collection "Crop Improvement Now and Beyond"

A topical collection in Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This collection belongs to the section "Biotechnology".

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Florimond-Desprez—Recherche & Innovation, 3 rue Florimond Desprez, P.O. Box 41, 59242 Cappelle-en-Pévèle, France
Interests: plant breeding; biotechnology; omics; molecular biology; pest and diseases; applied genetics; doubled haploid; gene editing; genomic selection; epigenetic
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INRAE, UMR 1095 INRAE—Université Clermont-Auvergne, Genetics, Diversity & Ecophysiology of Cereals, 5, Chemin de Beaulieu, 63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
Interests: recombination; meiosis; crop genetics
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Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Since the green revolution in the early 1970s, crop production has mostly covered the human needs, allowing feeding a regularly growing population. However, yields have been stagnating for most crops—especially for cereals—for more than 20 years, and the surpluses that used to cover at least three months of consumption have dramatically decreased, leading to stock depletion with potentially disastrous consequences for human feeding. In addition, crops initially intended for human consumption have been diverted to non-food productions, thus further impacting food stocks. The traditional answer to the growing demands of the world population has also long relied on extending land cultivation, implementing large deforestation programs in some developing countries. Nevertheless, this will no longer be possible because of the non-negotiable need to preserve natural biodiversity. Agriculture has also to face increasing ecological constraints, and crop yield improvement will have to be achieved despite a drastic reduction of the use of fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides, and the scarcity of water caused by climate change and the frequent occurrence of drought and heat stress. Therefore, it is necessary to “give crops a genetic helping hand” and to provide breeders with new tools to allow the fast development of new original and powerful crop varieties. These achievements will require the application of cell and molecular biology techniques, high-throughput genotyping and sequencing approaches, genome-wide association mapping and genomic selection, gene expression and regulation methods, targeted mutagenesis, including genome editing, high-throughput phenotyping, epigenetics. The objective if this Topical Collection is to show how these new tools are being specifically setup and used for the improvement of major crops and how they will be used and improved in the coming years to face the challenge of crop yield improvement and meet human needs by 2050 in the context of sustainable agriculture. Review articles on the latest technologies and methodologies will also be of interest.

Dr. Pierre Devaux
Dr. Pierre Sourdille
Collection Editors

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  • crop improvement
  • genetics
  • breeding
  • biotechnology
  • genotyping
  • new technologies
  • omics
  • phenotyping

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