BABY BOOM-Mediated Plant Propagation
Plant breeding relies on the introduction of new traits through crosses with wild or related germplasm. The challenge in modern plant breeding is not only the identification and introduction of new crop traits, but also the acceleration of this process. The development of true breeding lines through conventional breeding is a long process that is confounded by different factors, including the level of heterozygosity, fertility, and length of the life cycle. A number of biotechnology techniques have been developed to facilitate or circumvent the production of true breeding plants. These include in vitro embryo regeneration techniques like haploid embryo production and somatic embryogenesis, and in vivo (seed-based) techniques like fertilization-independent embryo production through seed (haploids and apomixis). The BABY BOOM transcription factor is a powerful tool that has been used to promote these various types of in vitro and in vivo embryogenesis. Here we will generate knowledge on the endogenous developmental pathways that regulate and are regulated by the BABY BOOM transcription factor during early embryo development. This knowledge will be used to develop new (gene-edited) tools that enhance the efficiency of BABY BOOM-mediated in vitro and in vivo embryo production in crops.