The completion of reference genome sequences for many important crops and the ability to perform high-throughput resequencing are providing opportunities for improving our understanding of the history of plant domestication and to accelerate crop improvement. Crop plant comparative genomics is being transformed by these data and a new generation of experimental and computational approaches. The future of crop improvement will be centred on comparisons of individual plant genomes, and some of the best opportunities may lie in using combinations of new genetic mapping strategies and evolutionary analyses to direct and optimize the discovery and use of genetic variation. Here we review such strategies and insights that are emerging.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)–US National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (2011-68002-30029) for partial support for P.L.M., USDA– NIFA (2009-01864) for J.R.-I. and the USDA Agriculture Research Service and the National Science Foundation (NSF)–Plant Genome Research (0820691) and NSF–Division of Biological Infrastructure (0965342) for support to E.S.B. The authors are grateful to J. Gerke, A. Gonzales, M. Hufford, D. Segal, R. Stupar and three anonymous referees for comments on the manuscript.