Reduced genetic diversity in cultivated soybean coupled with changing dietary expectations, climate change, and increase in population demands expansion of current gene pool. Wild soybeans are an opportunistic resource and a rational choice to discover novel genes and gene families for alternative crop production systems and to improve soybean. Multiple agronomic traits, lineage-specific genes, and domestication-related traits have been studied in wild soybeans in contrast to cultivated soybeans, and it has been proved that wild soybeans are an essential genomic resource containing unique and useful genetic resources that have been lost during domestication to expand the gene pool in order to improve soybean. Wild soybean is very often a plant of disturbed habitats of Southeast Asia. The vulnerability of these habitats to agriculture systems and urban expansion causes a reduction in the area of distribution and hence the diversity. To capture the wild soybean genetic diversity in its main distribution areas, a unique and comprehensive germplasm collection, characterization, and conservation platform is direly needed. Chung’s Wild Legume Germplasm Collection is preserving and maintaining a representative wild soybean germplasm collection guided by the principles of conservation genetics. These wild legumes and particularly wild soybean is a promising genetic resource for soybean breeders.
Part of the book: Rediscovery of Landraces as a Resource for the Future
Wheat, as one of the most important cereal crops in the world and second major caloric source in the world after rice, is the major staple food in South Asia and many other countries of the world. Prior to onset of “Green Revolution,” South Asian countries were facing the threat of severe famine. Green Revolution wheat genotypes brought out these countries from the crisis they were facing and has helped them to sustain their productions for more than half a century. With the emergence of molecular biology and biotechnology, another window of opportunity is opened to sustain wheat yields by using modern techniques of genes identification and utilization. Through this chapter, we have tried to gather information that was generated for wheat improvement in last 3 decades. These afforest included the development of molecular markers, mapping of genes, sequencing of markers genes, and their utilization through marker-assisted selection. The other part recorded various efforts to genetically transform wheat for traits improvements and/or to study their molecular control.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Grain Crops Research