Progress Toward Development of Climate-Smart Flax: A Perspective on Omics-Assisted Breeding

  • S. M. Shivaraj
  • Priyanka Dhakate
  • Humira Sonah
  • Tri Vuong
  • Henry T. Nguyen
  • Rupesh DeshmukhEmail author


Flax or linseed is one of the oldest crops that is economically valued for both fiber and oil. The bast fiber derived from flax is having high tensile strength, which is used for the production of linen clothes. Its seed oil contains a high amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which is beneficial for human health. Flax is the third largest fiber-yielding crop and one of the five major oil producing crops in the world. Like other crop plants, flax faces many biotic and abiotic stresses that can affect its productivity. Conventional breeding methods in flax focused on stabilizing yield and other important traits. Consequently, application of molecular markers to analyze genetic diversity in flax and identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for different agronomic traits augmented flax breeding. After the revolutionary improvements in sequencing technology, several plant genomes have been sequenced including flax. However, less effort has been made to utilize the available genetic resources for flax improvement. The available resources provide an opportunity to utilize advanced tools like genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and genomic selection to increase the precision of plant selection for flax breeding. In addition to breeding, genetic engineering techniques allow the introduction of novel traits by manipulating candidate genes such as transcription factors, protein-encoding genes, and transporters. A holistic approach involving diverse bioinformatics, breeding, and genetic engineering technologies will greatly facilitate the introduction of climate-smart traits into flax varieties to sustain their productivity in the scenario of global climate change.


Agronomic traits Fiber flax Genetic diversity Genomic resources Linum usitatissimum Stress tolerance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Shivaraj
    • 1
  • Priyanka Dhakate
    • 2
  • Humira Sonah
    • 1
    • 3
  • Tri Vuong
    • 4
  • Henry T. Nguyen
    • 4
  • Rupesh Deshmukh
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.University LavalQuebec CityCanada
  2. 2.National Institute of Plant Genome ResearchNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.National Agri-Food Biotechnology InstituteMohaliIndia
  4. 4.Division of Plant SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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