Rajeev Varshney, Ryohei Terauchi, and Susan McCouch summarize the current and future uses of next-generation sequencing technologies, both for developing crops with improved traits and for increasing the efficiency of modern plant breeding, as a step towards meeting the challenge of feeding a growing world population.
Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies are being used to generate whole genome sequences for a wide range of crop species. When combined with precise phenotyping methods, these technologies provide a powerful and rapid tool for identifying the genetic basis of agriculturally important traits and for predicting the breeding value of individuals in a plant breeding population. Here we summarize current trends and future prospects for utilizing NGS-based technologies to develop crops with improved trait performance and increase the efficiency of modern plant breeding. It is our hope that the application of NGS technologies to plant breeding will help us to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population.