Mining and Harnessing Natural Variation: A Little MAGIC
- Gurmukh S. Johal *a,
- Peter Balint-Kurtib and
- Clifford F. Weilc
The success of a breeding program depends on having adequate diversity in the germplasm. However, as advanced breeding stocks and materials are generated, one casualty is the diversity itself. As a result, breeding programs in many crop species have reached a point of diminishing returns and it is feared that unless new diversity is infused into the breeding germplasm, we face catastrophic reductions in crop productivity if the climate turns adverse. Although some scientists favor transgenic approaches, a “back to nature” approach to genetic diversity may prove faster and more effective. Wild and exotic relatives of crop plants hold a wealth of alleles that, if we can find them, can help break yield barriers and enhance tolerance to stresses. Many approaches, based largely on quantitative trait loci genetics, have been proposed and used for this purpose, but most are either highly laborious or discover relevant variation inefficiently. Here, we propose a gene-centered approach, dubbed MAGIC (
Copyright © 2008.