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Controlling Apomixis: Shared Features and Distinct Characteristics of Gene Regulation
Open AccessOpinion

Apomixis Technology: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

Department of Systematics, Biodiversity and Evolution of Plants, Albrecht-von-Haller Institute for Plant Sciences, Georg-August-University of Göttingen, Untere Karspüle 2, D-37073-1 Göttingen, Germany
Genes 2020, 11(4), 411;
Received: 12 March 2020 / Revised: 3 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 10 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Basis of Apomixis in Plants)
Projections indicate that current plant breeding approaches will be unable to incorporate the global crop yields needed to deliver global food security. Apomixis is a disruptive innovation by which a plant produces clonal seeds capturing heterosis and gene combinations of elite phenotypes. Introducing apomixis into hybrid cultivars is a game-changing development in the current plant breeding paradigm that will accelerate the generation of high-yield cultivars. However, apomixis is a developmentally complex and genetically multifaceted trait. The central problem behind current constraints to apomixis breeding is that the genomic configuration and molecular mechanism that initiate apomixis and guide the formation of a clonal seed are still unknown. Today, not a single explanation about the origin of apomixis offer full empirical coverage, and synthesizing apomixis by manipulating individual genes has failed or produced little success. Overall evidence suggests apomixis arise from a still unknown single event molecular mechanism with multigenic effects. Disentangling the genomic basis and complex genetics behind the emergence of apomixis in plants will require the use of novel experimental approaches benefiting from Next Generation Sequencing technologies and targeting not only reproductive genes, but also the epigenetic and genomic configurations associated with reproductive phenotypes in homoploid sexual and apomictic carriers. A comprehensive picture of most regulatory changes guiding apomixis emergence will be central for successfully installing apomixis into the target species by exploiting genetic modification techniques. View Full-Text
Keywords: apomeiosis; clonal seeds; endosperm; heterosis capture; molecular breeding; parthenogenesis apomeiosis; clonal seeds; endosperm; heterosis capture; molecular breeding; parthenogenesis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hojsgaard, D. Apomixis Technology: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff. Genes 2020, 11, 411.

AMA Style

Hojsgaard D. Apomixis Technology: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff. Genes. 2020; 11(4):411.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hojsgaard, Diego. 2020. "Apomixis Technology: Separating the Wheat from the Chaff" Genes 11, no. 4: 411.

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