Crop evolution: from genetics to genomics.

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The advent of the genomics age has greatly facilitated the study of crop evolution. While full-scale genome sequencing projects are underway for just a handful of crop plants, recent years have witnessed a tremendous increase in the availability of DNA sequence data for virtually all major crops. Such resources have bolstered 'traditional' genetic approaches such as QTL mapping and candidate gene-based association studies. They have also allowed us to undertake genome-wide analyses in which we simultaneously consider the importance of a large and essentially random collection of genes. These sorts of analyses promise a more or less unbiased view of the genetic basis of crop evolution and will probably result in the identification of agronomically important genes that would have otherwise been overlooked.

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