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Impact of plant breeding on genetic diversity of agricultural crops: searching for molecular evidence

  • Yong-Bi Fu (a1)

Abstract

There is a long-standing concern that modern plant breeding reduces crop genetic diversity, which may have consequences for the vulnerability of crops to changes in pests, diseases, climate and agricultural practices. Recent molecular assessments of genetic diversity changes in existing genepools of major agricultural crops may shed some light on the impact of plant breeding on crop genetic diversity. Reviewing published assessments revealed different impacts of plant breeding on improved genepools, not only narrowing or widening their genetic base, but also shifting their genetic background. In general, the genome-wide reduction of crop genetic diversity accompanying genetic improvement over time is minor, but allelic reduction at individual chromosomal segments is substantial. More efforts are needed to assess what proportion of lost alleles is associated with undesirable traits.

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*Corresponding author: E-mail: fuy@agr.gc.ca

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Impact of plant breeding on genetic diversity of agricultural crops: searching for molecular evidence

  • Yong-Bi Fu (a1)

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