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Molecular Plant
Volume 15 (2), 2022, Pages 203-206

Genetics-inspired data-driven approaches explain and predict crop performance fluctuations attributed to changing climatic conditions

Xianran Li1, Tingting Guo2, Guihua Bai3

USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research Unit, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.


Genetics-focused approaches have been widely used to uncover major genetic variants associated with performance variation. Selecting, manipulating, and editing genetic variants significantly improve crop performance. Meanwhile, the genetic component explains a portion of performance variation, and the environmental component contributes to the remaining, often large, portion (Laidig et al., 2017; Bonecke et al., 2020; Li et al., 2021). To ensure superior and robust performance, elite varieties are extensively tested across multiple years and locations. These extensive performance records, coupled with climatic profiles, could be leveraged to understand climate’s impact on agriculture through approaches parallel to quantitative genetics approaches (Figure 1A).

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