Buckwheat (Fagopyrum sp.) genetic resources: What can they contribute towards nutritional security of changing world?

Abstract

The global population depends on fairly a small number of crops including wheat, rice and maize for food and nutrition, leaving a wealth of genetic resources neglected. Owing to ever increasing demands of the growing world, food production must be increased but research evidences suggests that climate change has adversely affected crop yields, thereby impacting whole agriculture. Exploring the potential reservoir of underutilized crops would provide a highly diversified agricultural production system in sustaining food and nutritional security under climate change. Buckwheat (Fagopyrum sp.) is one such crop representing a broad gene pool harboring diverse genetic resources for future agriculture due to their suitability to marginalized environments. Research advancements suggest that buckwheat has immense potential of commercialization due to presence of essential nutrients and therapeutics. With a balance of bioactive components and nutraceuticals, it has the ability to withstand various environmental stresses to make it a suitable candidate crop for future nutritional security initiatives. Despite such potential, efforts pertaining to genetic improvement, including breeding and molecular techniques are not exemplary. In this review, we present a comprehensive coverage of buckwheat germplasm research done till date along with a tangible perspective of integrating breeding and omics-driven approaches to accelerate higher genetic gains. The implementation of this strategy could enhance the nutritional benefits and adaptation to changing climates for future needs.

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Acknowledgements

Authors are thankful to the Science and Engineering Research Board, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India for funding this study (Grant No. PDF/2018/001159).

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MS, NM conceived the idea, coordinated the manuscript layout and wrote the article; KS assisted in data collection and literature survey. All the authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Singh, M., Malhotra, N. & Sharma, K. Buckwheat (Fagopyrum sp.) genetic resources: What can they contribute towards nutritional security of changing world?. Genet Resour Crop Evol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10722-020-00961-0

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Keywords

  • Buckwheat
  • Genetic resources
  • Conservation
  • Climate change
  • Nutritional security