Blurring the boundaries between cereal crops and model plants

Philippa Borrill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
241 Downloads (Pure)


The cereal crops rice (Oryza sativa), maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) provide half of the food eaten by humankind. However, understanding their biology has proved challenging due to their large size, long lifecycle and large genomes. The model plant Arabidopsis thaliana avoids these practical problems and has provided fundamental understanding of plant biology, however not all of this knowledge is directly transferrable to cereals. Recent developments in gene editing, speed breeding and genome assembly techniques mean that the challenges associated with working with the major cereal crops can be overcome. Resources such as mutant collections and genome sequences are now available for these crops, making them attractive experimental systems with which to make discoveries that are directly applicable to increasing crop production.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Phytologist
Early online date30 Sept 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 The Author. New Phytologist © 2019 New Phytologist Trust.


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • cereals
  • crops
  • model plants
  • Oryza sativa (rice)
  • Triticum aestivum (wheat)
  • Zea mays ssp. mays (maize)


Dive into the research topics of 'Blurring the boundaries between cereal crops and model plants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this