Cereals are the major sources of calories worldwide. Their production should be high to achieve food security, despite the projected increase in global population. Genomics research may enhance cereal productivity. Genomics immensely benefits from robust next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques, which produce vast amounts of sequence data in a time and cost-efficient way. Research has demonstrated that gene sequences among closely related species that share common ancestry have remained well conserved over millions of years of evolution. Comparative genomics allows for comparison of genome sequences across different species, with the implication that genomes with large sizes can be investigated using closely related species with smaller genomes. This offers prospects of studying genes in a single species and, in turn, gaining information on their functions in other related species. Comparative genomics is expected to provide invaluable information on the control of gene function in complex cereal genomes, and also in designing molecular markers across related species. This chapter discusses advances in sequencing technologies, their application in cereal genomics and their potential contribution to the understanding of the relationships between the different cereal genomes and their phenotypes.
Part of the book: Plant Genomics