Growing concerns over food insecurity and ecosystems health related to population growth and climate change have challenged scientists to develop new crops, employing revolutionary technologies in combination with traditional methods. In this review, we discuss the domestication of the oilseed-producing cover crop pennycress, which along with the development of other new crops and improvements to farming practices can provide sustainable solutions to address malnutrition and environmental impacts of production agriculture. We highlight some of the new technologies such as bioinformaticsenabled next-generation sequencing and CRISPR genome editing in combination with traditional mutation breeding that has accelerated pennycress development as a new crop and a potential model system. Furthermore, we provide a brief overview of the technologies that can be integrated for improving pennycress and other crops and the status of pennycress development using these technologies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award numbers 2014-67009-22305, 2018-67009-27374, and 2019-67009-29004 and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant No. 2019-69012-29851 to M.D.M, J.C.S and R.C. Additional funds were provided by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the University of Minnesota — Grand Challenges Program and the University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative and the Walton Family. This research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Genomic Science Program grant no. DE-SC0021286.
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