Invited Review

Expanding Genetic Horizons: The Role of MAGIC Populations in Enhancing Plant Breeding Efficiency  

Liangrong Jiang , Wanying Xu
Xiamen Plant Genetics Key Laboratory, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361102, China
Author    Correspondence author
Molecular Plant Breeding, 2024, Vol. 15, No. 3   
Received: 07 Jan., 2024    Accepted: 15 Apr., 2024    Published: 03 May, 2024
© 2024 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The burgeoning global population and the concomitant demand for increased agricultural productivity necessitate the exploration of innovative breeding strategies. Multi-parent advanced generation inter-cross (MAGIC) populations have emerged as a pivotal resource in plant breeding, offering a unique amalgamation of genetic diversity and recombination. These populations are derived from multiple founder parents and result in recombinant inbred lines (RILs) that serve as a genetic mosaic, capturing a broad spectrum of genetic variation. The development of MAGIC populations, through either "funnel" or "diallel" cross-designs, ensures a balanced representation of each parent's genome, thereby maximizing the potential for genetic discovery and trait improvement. The application of MAGIC populations has been demonstrated across various crops, including cereals, cowpea, sorghum, tomato, eggplant, rice, and strawberry, highlighting their versatility and potential for enhancing breeding efficiency. Advances in genotyping technologies and specific software development have facilitated the genetic analysis of these complex populations, enabling the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and the selection of elite breeding material. Furthermore, MAGIC populations are instrumental in dissecting complex traits, such as disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, and grain quality, and hold promise for the direct release of new varieties. The integration of MAGIC populations into breeding pipelines, coupled with the potential for inter-specific crosses and the development of populations in non-pure line crops, underscores their transformative role in plant breeding. This review underscores the significance of MAGIC populations in advancing genetic research and breeding, paving the way for the development of improved cultivars to meet future agricultural challenges.

MAGIC populations; Plant breeding; Genetic diversity; Recombinant inbred lines; Quantitative trait loci; Crop improvement; Genotyping; Genetic analysis; Trait dissection; Cultivar development
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. MAGIC populations
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. Recombinant inbred lines
. Quantitative trait loci
. Crop improvement
. Genotyping
. Genetic analysis
. Trait dissection
. Cultivar development
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