Genetic Diversity and Its Impact in Enhancement of Crop Plants


Citation: Temesgen Begna, Hayilu Gichile and Werkissa Yali (2022) Genetic Diversity and Its Impact in Enhancement of Crop Plants, Global Journal of Agricultural Research , Vol.10, No.2, pp.13-25

Plant breeding is a science that focuses on the development of new plant varieties in a systematic and ongoing method. It takes advantage of genetic variation among individuals within a plant species and combines desired traits to produce new and improved varieties. Plant breeding depends on genetic variety, and new variation is critical for introducing interesting characteristics into breeding programs. Genetic erosion is a term used to describe the loss of variation in crops as a result of agricultural modernization. Plant breeding has had a significant impact on food production and will continue to play an important role in ensuring global food security. Plant breeding can be broadly described as changes in plants caused by human use, ranging from unintended modifications generated by the introduction of agriculture through the use of molecular tools for precision breeding. Plant breeding based on observed variation by selection of plants based on natural variants appearing in nature or within traditional varieties; plant breeding based on controlled mating by selection of plants presenting recombination of desirable genes from different parents; and plant breeding based on monitored recombination by selection of specific genes or marker profiles. Continuous use of traditional breeding methods in a given species may reduce the gene pool from which cultivars are derived, making crops more susceptible to biotic and abiotic challenges and impeding future advancement. Plant breeding’s primary objectives are ‘high yield, high quality, and quantity, extension of climate and soil adaptability ability, and tolerance or resistance to pests and diseases.’ Plant breeders achieve these goals by exploiting genetic differences between plants. The range of the genetic base, as measured by genetic diversity, is a limiting factor in successful adaptation to environmental conditions and plant breeding. Many challenges in plant breeding require genetic variation, which can be found in the biodiversity of plant genetic resources such as breeding lines, landraces, primitive forms, wilds and wild relatives, and weed races.

Keywords: genetic diversity; adaptation; molecular marker; diversity analysis; gene pyramiding


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 13-25 (Download PDF)

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