Application of TILLING for Orphan Crop Improvement

Esfeld, Korinna; Uauy, Cristobal; Tadele, Zerihun (2013). Application of TILLING for Orphan Crop Improvement. In: Jain, Shri Mohan; Dutta Gupta, S. (eds.) Biotechnology of Neglected and Underutilized Crops (pp. 83-113). Springer Netherlands 10.1007/978-94-007-5500-0_6

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People in developing countries mostly depend for their diet on special staple crops, so called orphan crops. These crops play a key role in food security since they are grown by many resource-poor farmers and consumed locally. Despite their huge importance in the economy and livelihood of the developing world, orphan crops have received little attention in terms of scientific improvement. Although conventional breeding is widely implemented to improve crop plants, alternative methods such as marker-assisted breeding and reverse genetics approaches have proved to be efficient in developing crop cultivars. In this review, we present detailed description of a non-transgenic and reverse genetics technique called TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesion IN Genomes). The method was originally optimized in the model plant Arabidposis thaliana and subsequently applied to crops such as maize, wheat, and rice. We also present detailed procedures for several TILLING strategies and discuss their benefits and drawbacks. The application of the technique for orphan crop improvement is also discussed based on several TILLING platforms currently carried-out on these understudied crops of the world.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Development
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Esfeld, Korinna and Tadele, Zerihun


500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)




Springer Netherlands




Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

12 Jun 2015 11:28

Last Modified:

12 Jun 2015 11:28

Publisher DOI:





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