Full Text:   <1640>

CLC number: S33

On-line Access: 2020-06-01

Received: 2019-08-27

Revision Accepted: 2019-12-27

Crosschecked: 2020-05-29

Cited: 0

Clicked: 2598

Citations:  Bibtex RefMan EndNote GB/T7714

-   Go to

Article info.
Open peer comments

Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B 2020 Vol.21 No.6 P.423-425


Breeding crops by design for future agriculture

Author(s):  Chengdao Li

Affiliation(s):  Western Barley Genetics Alliance, College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia

Corresponding email(s):   c.li@murdoch.edu.au

Key Words:  Plant breeding, Gene editing, Crop varieties, Future agriculture

Share this article to: More |Next Article >>>

Chengdao Li. Breeding crops by design for future agriculture[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science B, 2020, 21(6): 423-425.

@article{title="Breeding crops by design for future agriculture",
author="Chengdao Li",
journal="Journal of Zhejiang University Science B",
publisher="Zhejiang University Press & Springer",

%0 Journal Article
%T Breeding crops by design for future agriculture
%A Chengdao Li
%J Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE B
%V 21
%N 6
%P 423-425
%@ 1673-1581
%D 2020
%I Zhejiang University Press & Springer
%DOI 10.1631/jzus.B2010001

T1 - Breeding crops by design for future agriculture
A1 - Chengdao Li
J0 - Journal of Zhejiang University Science B
VL - 21
IS - 6
SP - 423
EP - 425
%@ 1673-1581
Y1 - 2020
PB - Zhejiang University Press & Springer
ER -
DOI - 10.1631/jzus.B2010001

plant breeding is both the science and art of developing elite crop cultivars by creating and reassembling desirable inherited traits for human benefit. From the bulk selection of wild plants for cultivation during early civilization to Mendelian genetics and genomics-assisted breeding in modern society, breeding methodologies have evolved over the last thousand years. In the past few decades, the “Green Revolution” through breeding of semi-dwarf wheat and rice varieties, and the use of heterosis and transgenic crops have dramatically enhanced crop productivity and helped prevent widespread famine (Hickey et al., 2019). Integration of these technologies can significantly improve breeding efficiency in the development of super crop varieties (Li et al., 2018). For example, a hybrid cotton variety CCRI63 and six related hybrid varieties account for nearly 90% of cotton production in the Yangtze River Basin (Wan et al., 2017; Wang et al., 2018). These varieties have successfully combined high yield, good quality, and biotic stress tolerance through the integration of conventional breeding, hybrid and genetically modified organism (GMO) technologies (Lu et al., 2019; Ma et al., 2019; Song et al., 2019). Unfortunately, such technology integration is not practical for most staple food crops, including rice and wheat, because of social or technical restrictions. Furthermore, plant breeding is still labor-intensive and time-consuming, and conventional breeding remains the leading approach for the release of commercial crop varieties worldwide. This is especially true for breeding cultivars and hybrids with high yield, good quality, and resistance to biotic or abiotic stresses (Liu et al., 2015; Gu et al., 2016). New germplasm, knowledge, and breeding techniques are required to breed the next generation of crop varieties.

Darkslateblue:Affiliate; Royal Blue:Author; Turquoise:Article


[1]Araus JL, Kefauver SC, Zaman-Allah M, et al., 2018. Translating high-throughput phenotyping into genetic gain. Trends Plant Sci, 23(5):451-466.

[2]Chen Q, Wu FB, 2020. Breeding for low cadmium accumulation cereals. J Zhejiang Univ-Sci B (Biomed & Biotechnol), 21(6):442-459.

[3]Clemens S, Ma JF, 2016. Toxic heavy metal and metalloid accumulation in crop plants and foods. Ann Rev Plant Biol, 67:489-512.

[4]Fernie AR, Yan JB, 2019. De novo domestication: an alternative route toward new crops for the future. Mol Plant, 12(5):615-631.

[5]Ghosh S, Watson A, Gonzalez-Navarro OE, et al., 2018. Speed breeding in growth chambers and glasshouses for crop breeding and model plant research. Nat Protoc, 13(12):2944-2963.

[6]Gu RL, Chen FJ, Long LZ, et al., 2016. Enhancing phosphorus uptake efficiency through QTL-based selection for root system architecture in maize. J Genet Genomics, 43(11):663-672.

[7]Hickey LT, Hafeez AN, Robinson H, et al., 2019. Breeding crops to feed 10 billion. Nat Biotechnol, 37(7):744-754.

[8]Hua K, Tao XP, Zhu JK, 2019. Expanding the base editing scope in rice by using Cas9 variants. Plant Biotechnol J, 17(2):499-504.

[9]Huang L, Wu DZ, Zhang GP, 2020. Advances in studies on ion transporters involved in salt tolerance and breeding crop cultivars with high salt tolerance. J Zhejiang Univ-Sci B (Biomed & Biotechnol), 21(6):426-441.

[10]Jiao YP, Peluso P, Shi JH, et al., 2017. Improved maize reference genome with single-molecule technologies. Nature, 546(7659):524-527.

[11]Li CS, Xiang XL, Huang YC, et al., 2020. Long-read sequencing reveals genomic structural variations that underlie creation of quality protein maize. Nat Commun, 11:17.

[12]Li S, Liu SM, Fu HW, et al., 2018. High-resolution melting-based TILLING of γ ray-induced mutations in rice. J Zhejiang Univ-Sci B (Biomed & Biotechnol), 19(8):620-629.

[13]Liang Z, Chen KL, Li TD, et al., 2017. Efficient DNA-free genome editing of bread wheat using CRISPR/Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complexes. Nat Commun, 8:14261.

[14]Liu MM, Zhang XJ, Gao Y, et al., 2018. Molecular characterization and efficacy evaluation of a transgenic corn event for insect resistance and glyphosate tolerance. J Zhejiang Univ-Sci B (Biomed & Biotechnol), 19(8):610-619.

[15]Liu YQ, Wu H, Chen H, et al., 2015. A gene cluster encoding lectin receptor kinases confers broad-spectrum and durable insect resistance in rice. Nat Biotechnol, 33(3):301-305.

[16]Lu XK, Fu XQ, Wang DL, et al., 2019. Resequencing of cv CRI-12 family reveals haplotype block inheritance and recombination of agronomically important genes in artificial selection. Plant Biotechnol J, 17(5):945-955.

[17]Ma XF, Wang ZY, Li W, et al., 2019. Resequencing core accessions of a pedigree identifies derivation of genomic segments and key agronomic trait loci during cotton improvement. Plant Biotechnol J, 17(4):762-775.

[18]Maher MF, Nasti RA, Vollbrecht M, et al., 2020. Plant gene editing through de novo induction of meristems. Nat Biotechnol, 38:84-89.

[19]Mascher M, Gundlach H, Himmelbach A, et al., 2017. A chromosome conformation capture ordered sequence of the barley genome. Nature, 544(7651):427-433.

[20]Mwando E, Angessa TT, Han Y, et al., 2020. Salinity tolerance in barley during germination—homologs and potential genes. J Zhejiang Univ-Sci B (Biomed & Biotechnol), 21(2):93-121.

[21]National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2019. Science Breakthroughs to Advance Food and Agricultural Research by 2030. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC.


[23]Shan QW, Wang YP, Li J, et al., 2014. Genome editing in rice and wheat using the CRISPR/Cas system. Nat Protoc, 9(10):2395-2410.

[24]Song CX, Li W, Pei XY, et al., 2019. Dissection of the genetic variation and candidate genes of lint percentage by a genome-wide association study in upland cotton. Theor Appl Genet, 132(7):1991-2002.

[25]Svitashev S, Schwartz C, Lenderts B, et al., 2016. Genome editing in maize directed by CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoprotein complexes. Nat Commun, 7:13274.

[26]Tan YY, Du H, Wu X, et al., 2020. Gene editing: an instrument for practical application of gene biology to plant breeding. J Zhejiang Univ-Sci B (Biomed & Biotechnol), 21(6):460-473.

[27]Tang L, Luo WJ, He ZL, et al., 2018. Variations in cadmium and nitrate co-accumulation among water spinach genotypes and implications for screening safe genotypes for human consumption. J Zhejiang Univ-Sci B (Biomed & Biotechnol), 19(2):147-158.

[28]Wan P, Xu D, Cong SB, et al., 2017. Hybridizing transgenic Bt cotton with non-Bt cotton counters resistance in pink bollworm. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 114(21):5413-5418.

[29]Wang ZY, Li W, Xiao GH, et al., 2018. Genomic variation mapping and detection of novel genes based on genome-wide survey of an elite upland cotton hybrid (Gossypium hirsutum L.). Curr Sci, 115(4):701-709.


[31]Watson A, Ghosh S, Williams MJ, et al., 2018. Speed breeding is a powerful tool to accelerate crop research and breeding. Nat Plants, 4(1):23-29.

[32]Woo JW, Kim J, Kwon SI, et al., 2015. DNA-free genome editing in plants with preassembled CRISPR-Cas9 ribonucleoproteins. Nat Biotechnol, 33(11):1162-1164.

[33]Zong Y, Song QN, Li C, et al., 2018. Efficient C-to-T base editing in plants using a fusion of nCas9 and human APOBEC3A. Nat Biotechnol, 36(10):950-953.

Open peer comments: Debate/Discuss/Question/Opinion


Please provide your name, email address and a comment

Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE, 38 Zheda Road, Hangzhou 310027, China
Tel: +86-571-87952783; E-mail: cjzhang@zju.edu.cn
Copyright © 2000 - 2024 Journal of Zhejiang University-SCIENCE