Harnessing diversity in wheat to enhance grain yield, climate resilience, disease and insect pest resistance and nutrition through conventional and modern breeding approaches

Suchismita Mondal, Jessica E. Rutkoski, Govindan Velu, Pawan K. Singh, Leonardo A. Crespo-Herrera, Carlos Guzman, Sridhar Bhavani, Caixia Lan, Xinyao He, Ravi P. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Current trends in population growth and consumption patterns continue to increase the demand for wheat, a key cereal for global food security. Further, multiple abiotic challenges due to climate change and evolving pathogen and pests pose a major concern for increasing wheat production globally. Triticeae species comprising of primary, secondary, and tertiary gene pools represent a rich source of genetic diversity in wheat. The conventional breeding strategies of direct hybridization, backcrossing and selection have successfully introgressed a number of desirable traits associated with grain yield, adaptation to abiotic stresses, disease resistance, and bio-fortification of wheat varieties. However, it is time consuming to incorporate genes conferring tolerance/resistance to multiple stresses in a single wheat variety by conventional approaches due to limitations in screening methods and the lower probabilities of combining desirable alleles. Efforts on developing innovative breeding strategies, novel tools and utilizing genetic diversity for new genes/alleles are essential to improve productivity, reduce vulnerability to diseases and pests and enhance nutritional quality. New technologies of high-throughput phenotyping, genome sequencing and genomic selection are promising approaches to maximize progeny screening and selection to accelerate the genetic gains in breeding more productive varieties. Use of cisgenic techniques to transfer beneficial alleles and their combinations within related species also offer great promise especially to achieve durable rust resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number991
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Issue numberJULY2016
StatePublished - Jul 6 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Cisgenesis
  • Disease resistance
  • Genetic diversity
  • Genomic selection
  • Introgressions
  • Nutritional quality
  • Pest resistance
  • Wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science

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