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Unraveling the diversity and cultural heritage of fruit crops through paleogenomics

Meirav Meiri and Guy Bar-Oz

Trends in Genetics


Abundant and plentiful fruit crops are threatened by the loss of diverse legacy cultivars which are being replaced by a limited set of high-yielding ones. This article delves into the potential of paleogenomics that utilizes ancient DNA analysis to revive lost diversity. By focusing on grapevines, date palms, and tomatoes, recent studies showcase the effectiveness of paleogenomic techniques in identifying and understanding genetic traits crucial for crop resilience, disease resistance, and nutritional value. The approach not only tracks landrace dispersal and introgression but also sheds light on domestication events. In the face of major future environmental challenges, integrating paleogenomics withmodern breeding strategies emerges as a promising avenue to significantly bolster fruit crop sustainability.




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