An integrated systems approach to crop improvement

Hammer, G. L. and Jordan, D. R. (2007). An integrated systems approach to crop improvement. In: J. H. J. Spiertz, P. C. Struik, H. H. van Laar and R. J. Bogers, Proceedings of the Frontis Workshop on Scale and Complexity in Plant Systems Research: Gene-Plant-Crop Relations. International Frontis Workshop 2006. Gene-Plant-Crop Relations: Scale and Complexity in Plant Systems Research, Wageningen, Netherlands, (45-61). 23-26 April 2006.

Author Hammer, G. L.
Jordan, D. R.
Title of paper An integrated systems approach to crop improvement
Conference name International Frontis Workshop 2006. Gene-Plant-Crop Relations: Scale and Complexity in Plant Systems Research
Conference location Wageningen, Netherlands
Conference dates 23-26 April 2006
Proceedings title Proceedings of the Frontis Workshop on Scale and Complexity in Plant Systems Research: Gene-Plant-Crop Relations
Journal name Wageningen UR Frontis Series
Place of Publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Publication Year 2007
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN 9781402059049
1402059043
9781402059056
1402059051
Editor J. H. J. Spiertz
P. C. Struik
H. H. van Laar
R. J. Bogers
Volume 21
Start page 45
End page 61
Total pages 16
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary Progress in crop improvement is limited by the ability to identify favourable combinations of genotypes (G) and management practices (M) given the resources available to search among possible combinations in the target population of environments (E). Crop improvement can be viewed as a search strategy on a complex G×M×E adaptation or fitness landscape. Here we consider design of an integrated systems approach to crop improvement that incorporates advanced technologies in molecular markers, statistics, bio-informatics, and crop physiology and modelling. We suggest that such an approach can enhance the efficiency of crop improvement relative to conventional phenotypic selection by changing the focus from the paradigm of identifying superior varieties to a focus on identifying superior combinations of genetic regions and management systems. A comprehensive information system to support decisions on identifying target combinations is the critical core of the approach. We discuss the role of ecophysiology and modelling in this integrated systems approach by reviewing (i) applications in environmental characterization to underpin weighted selection; (ii) complex-trait physiology and genetics to enhance the stability of QTL models by linking the vector of coefficients defining the dynamic model to the genetic regions generating variability; and (iii) phenotypic prediction in the target population of environments to assess the value of putative combinations of traits and management systems and enhance the utility of QTL models in selection. We examine in silico evidence of the value of ecophysiology and modelling to crop improvement for complex traits and note that, while there is no definitive position, it seems clear that there is sufficient promise to warrant continued effort. We discuss criteria determining the nature of models required and argue that a greater degree of biological robustness is required for modelling the physiology and genetics of complex traits. We conclude that, while an integrated systems approach to crop improvement is in its infancy, we expect that the potential benefits and further technology developments will likely enhance its rate of development.
Keyword Quantitative trait loci
To-phenotype relationships
Affecting grain-sorghum
Flowering time control
Environment interactions
Leaf-area
Physiological traits
Breeding strategies
Simulation-model
Genetic-control
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published as Chapter 5.

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Created: Mon, 07 Mar 2011, 15:31:51 EST