Diversity in Plant Breeding: A New Conceptual Framework

Isabelle Litrico, Cyrille Violle
2015 Trends in Plant Science  
Faced with an accelerating rate of environmental change and the associated need for a more sustainable, low-input agriculture, the urgent new challenge for crop science is to find ways to introduce greater diversity to cropping systems. However, there is a dearth of generic formalism in programs seeking to diversify crops. In this opinion, we propose a new framework, derived from ecological theory, that should enable diversity targets to be incorporated into plant-breeding programs. While
more » ... ical theory provides criteria for maintaining diversity and optimizing the production of mixtures, such criteria are rarely fully realized in natural ecosystems. Conversely, crop breeding should optimize both agronomic value and the ability of plants to perform and live alongside one another. This framework represents an opportunity to develop more sustainable crops and also a radical new way to apply ecological theory to cropping systems.
doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2015.07.007 pmid:26440430 fatcat:zcs66zityzcvvhcw7igl3rgzbi