Nature Reviews Genetics 13, 85-96 (February 2012) | doi:10.1038/nrg3097

Crop genomics: advances and applications

Peter L. Morrell1, Edward S. Buckler2 & Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra3  About the authors


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.

Author affiliations

  1. Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, St Paul, Minnesota, 55108.
  2. US Department of Agriculture–Agriculture Research Service (USDA–ARS) and Institute for Genomic Diversity and the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.
  3. Department of Plant Sciences and the Genome Center, University of California Davis, California, 95616, USA.

Correspondence to: Peter L. Morrell1 Email:

Correspondence to: Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra3 Email:

Published online 29 December 2011