Broadening Our Portfolio in the Genetic Improvement of Maize Chemical Composition

Weiwei Wen, Yariv Brotman, Lothar Willmitzer, Jianbing Yan, Alisdair R. Fernie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The adoption of recombinant inbred line and introgression line populations, as well as the study of association mapping panels, has greatly accelerated our ability to identify the genes underlying plant phenotypic variance. In tandem, the development of metabolomics approaches has greatly enhanced our ability to comprehensively define cellular chemical composition. As a consequence, breeding for chemical composition is being extended beyond our traditional targets of oil and protein to include components such as essential amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidant secondary metabolites with considerable purported consequences for human health. Here, we review the above-mentioned developments paying particular attention to the genetic architecture of metabolic traits as well as updating the perspective for utilizing metabolomics in maize improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-469
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • biofortification
  • crop breeding
  • maize
  • metabolomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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