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The Past, Present, and Future of Maize Improvement: Domestication, Genomics, and Functional Genomic Routes toward Crop Enhancement
- Liu, Jie, Fernie, Alisdair R., Yan, Jianbing
- Plant communications 2020 v.1 no.1 pp. 100010
- Zea mays, corn, domestication, genetic variation, genomics, phenotype, plant breeding, staple crops
- After being domesticated from teosinte, cultivated maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) spread worldwide and now is one of the most important staple crops. Due to its tremendous phenotypic and genotypic diversity, maize also becomes to be one of the most widely used model plant species for fundamental research, with many important discoveries reported by maize researchers. Here, we provide an overview of the history of maize domestication and key genes controlling major domestication-related traits, review the currently available resources for functional genomics studies in maize, and discuss the functions of most of the maize genes that have been positionally cloned and can be used for crop improvement. Finally, we provide some perspectives on future directions regarding functional genomics research and the breeding of maize and other crops.