The processes of plant domestication and plant breeding have produced crops which exhibit characteristics that humans appreciate: high yield, good flavor, and large edible parts. However, these same processes have led to the diminished genetic variability of many cultivated species, leaving them vulnerable to new diseases and pests and making further improvements impossible without the input of new variation. The results obtained from the AB-QTL and IL strategies applied in tomato as well as in other crops have shown that the vast genetic variation available in the wild relatives of these crops, many of which are available in gene banks, is not only exploitable but can have great positive effects on all agronomic traits, including yield and other quantitative traits that have been intractable to MAS techniques. The AB-QTL and IL strategies not only make the exploitation of new genetic variation more efficient and practical, but create permanent resources from which plant breeders can draw for future needs.
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