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An overlooked cause of seed degradation and its implications in the efficient exploitation of plant genetic resources

  • Dionysia A. Fasoula (a1)
Abstract

The importance of plant genetic resources for the future of agricultural production and for achieving food security necessitates the study of the factors affecting their most efficient exploitation, particularly in breeding programmes. The established negative correlation between competitive and yielding ability is emerging as an important, yet overlooked cause of seed and variety degradation. Because of this negative correlation, the low yielding, strong competing plants within the variety or the germplasm under study acquire a survival advantage over the high yielding, weak competing plants when propagated under dense stands, leading to a gradual cultivar degeneration and identity loss. Moreover, this gradual degeneration prevents selecting for the positive and novel adaptive variation that is endlessly released by the genome in response to biotic (e.g. mutating pathogens) and abiotic stresses. The application of nonstop selection on individual plants grown in the absence of competition using a novel selection equation demonstrates an effective means to counteract the negative effects and accelerate progress through selection.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author. E-mail: dfasoula@arinet.ari.gov.cy
References
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Borlaug NE (2008) Stem rust never sleeps. New York Times, 26 April.
Fasoula DA (1990) Correlations between auto-, allo- and nil-competition and their implications in plant breeding. Euphytica 50: 5762.
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Fasoula VA and Fasoula DA (2000) Honeycomb breeding: principles and applications. Plant Breeding Reviews 18: 177250.
Fasoula VA (2008) Two novel whole-plant field phenotyping equations maximize selection efficiency. In: Prohens J and Badenes ML (eds) Modern Variety Breeding for Present and Future Needs. Valencia: Editorial Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, pp. 361365.
Fasoulas AC (2000) Building up resistance to Verticillium wilt in cotton through honeycomb breeding. In: Gillham FM (ed.) New Frontiers in Cotton Research. Proceedings of 2nd World Cotton Research Conference, 6–12 September 1998. Athens, Greece, pp. 120124.
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Gepts P (2006) Plant genetic resources conservation and utilization: the accomplishments and future of a societal insurance policy. Crop Science 46: 22782292.
Kyriakou DT and Fasoulas AC (1985) Effects of competition and selection pressure on yield response in winter rye (Secale cereale L.). Euphytica 34: 883895.
Zeven AC (1999) The traditional inexplicable replacement of seed and seed ware of landraces and cultivars: a review. Euphytica 110: 181191.
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Plant Genetic Resources
  • ISSN: 1479-2621
  • EISSN: 1479-263X
  • URL: /core/journals/plant-genetic-resources
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