In cereal breeding programs, improved yield potential and stability are ultimate goals when developing new varieties. To facilitate achieving these goals, reproductive success under stressful growing conditions is of the highest priority. In recent times, small RNA (sRNA)-mediated pathways have been associated with the regulation of genes involved in stress adaptation and reproduction in both model plants and several cereals. Reproductive and physiological traits such as flowering time, reproductive branching, and root architecture can be manipulated by sRNA regulatory modules. We review sRNA-mediated pathways that could be exploited to expand crop diversity with adaptive traits and, in particular, the development of high-yielding stress-tolerant cereals: SMARTER cereal breeding through ‘Small RNA-Mediated Adaptation of Reproductive Targets in Epigenetic Regulation’.
Liu, H., Able, A. J., & Able, J. A. (2016, November 1). SMARTER De-Stressed Cereal Breeding. Trends in Plant Science. Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2016.07.006