Overview of breeding for grain resistance to storage pests

and Muturi P.W.

2009

Summary

Maize is an important crop in the world but its yield is greatly reduced by pests both at the vegetative stage and in storage. The need to breed for host plant resistance requires the approach of integrating scientists across disciplines. More genetically diverse germplasm sources should be explored to access alleles that are not present in cultivated crop species. The biochemical basis for the resistance should be investigated and analyzed to ensure its acceptability to consumers. Combined use of molecular markers and conventional breeding than the latter alone has facilitated the successful conversion of lines to improve grain quality. Regarding genetic diversity for storage pest resistance, researchers need to make significant progress in understanding the biochemical, biophysical, and genetic basis of host plant resistance. Traits that meet consumer demands are being mapped to confirm their role in resistance and to identify candidate genes using sequence homologies and proteomics. The real potential of this technology will be felt most in developing countries because the technology is packaged in the seed and should be designed to ensure that farmers have the option to recycle seed.

 

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