Farmland cadmium (Cd) contamination has adverse impacts on both wheat grain yield and people’s well-being through food consumption. Safe farming using low-Cd cultivars has been proposed as a promising approach to address the farmland Cd pollution problem. To date, several dozen low-Cd wheat cultivars have been screened worldwide based on a Cd inhibition test, representing candidates for wheat Cd minimization. Unfortunately, the breeding of low-Cd wheat cultivars with desired traits or enhanced Cd exclusion has not been extensively explored. Moreover, the wheat Cd inhibition test for variety screening and conventional breeding is expensive and time-consuming. As an alternative, low-Cd wheat cultivars that were developed with molecular genetics and breeding approaches can be promising, typically by the association of marker-assisted selection (MAS) with conventional breeding practices. In this review, we provide a synthetics view of the background and knowledge basis for the breeding of low-Cd wheat cultivars.
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