3 years ago

Breeding for cuticle-associated traits in crop species: traits, targets, and strategies.

Christophe Rothan, Bénédicte Bakan, Cécile Bres, Johann Petit, Jean-Philippe Mauxion
Improving crop productivity and quality while promoting sustainable agriculture have become major goals in plant breeding. The cuticle is a natural film covering the aerial organs of plants and consists of lipid polyesters covered and embedded with wax. The cuticle protects plants against water loss and pathogens and affects traits with strong impacts on crop quality such as, for horticultural crops, fruit brightness, cracking, russeting, netting, and shelf life. Here we provide an overview of the most important cuticle-associated traits that can be targeted for crop improvement. To date, most studies on cuticle-associated traits aimed at crop breeding have been done on fleshy fruits. Less information is available for staple crops such as rice, wheat or maize. Here we present new insights into cuticle formation and properties resulting from the study of genetic resources available for the various crop species. Our review also covers the current strategies and tools aimed at exploiting available natural and artificially induced genetic diversity and the technologies used to transfer the beneficial alleles affecting cuticle-associated traits to commercial varieties.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erx341

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erx341

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