Apomixis, the Holy Grail is at hand

For a long time, it was no more than a botanical curiosity, of interest to a few scholars with a passion for taxonomy and evolution. Today, it has become the Holy Grail of agricultural genetics. We are talking about apomixis, i.e. the ability to produce viable seeds that are completely identical to the mother plant, bypassing the need for fertilisation. “Research has been going in waves, now we are on the crest,” says Emidio Albertini, an apomixis expert at the University of Perugia and the organiser of a recent workshop on the subject at the Plant & Animal Genome Conference (San Diego, 13 January 2023).

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