Plant genome resequencing and population genomics: Current status and future prospects

Bo Song, Weidong Ning, Di Wei, Mengyun Jiang, Kun Zhu, Xingwei Wang, David Edwards, Damaris A. Odeny, Shifeng Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in DNA sequencing technology have sparked a genomics revolution, driving breakthroughs in plant genetics and crop breeding. Recently, the focus has shifted from cataloging genetic diversity in plants to exploring their functional significance and delivering beneficial alleles for crop improvement. This transformation has been facilitated by the increasing adoption of whole-genome resequencing. In this review, we summarize the current progress of population-based genome resequencing studies and how these studies affect crop breeding. A total of 187 land plants from 163 countries have been resequenced, comprising 54 413 accessions. As part of resequencing efforts 367 traits have been surveyed and 86 genome-wide association studies have been conducted. Economically important crops, particularly cereals, vegetables, and legumes, have dominated the resequencing efforts, leaving a gap in 49 orders, including Lycopodiales, Liliales, Acorales, Austrobaileyales, and Commelinales. The resequenced germplasm is distributed across diverse geographic locations, providing a global perspective on plant genomics. We highlight genes that have been selected during domestication, or associated with agronomic traits, and form a repository of candidate genes for future research and application. Despite the opportunities for cross-species comparative genomics, many population genomic datasets are not accessible, impeding secondary analyses. We call for a more open and collaborative approach to population genomics that promotes data sharing and encourages contribution-based credit policy. The number of plant genome resequencing studies will continue to rise with the decreasing DNA sequencing costs, coupled with advances in analysis and computational technologies. This expansion, in terms of both scale and quality, holds promise for deeper insights into plant trait genetics and breeding design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1268
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Plant
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2023


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