Genomics and Informatics, Conjoined Tools Vital for Understanding and Protecting Plant Health

Seogchan Kang, Ki Tae Kim, Jaeyoung Choi, Hyun Kim, Kyeongchae Cheong, Ananda Bandara, Yong Hwan Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Genomics’ impact on crop production continuously expands. The number of sequenced plant and microbial species and strains representing diverse populations of individual species rapidly increases thanks to the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies. Their genomic blueprints revealed candidate genes involved in various functions and processes crucial for crop health and helped in understanding how the sequenced organisms have evolved at the genome level. Functional genomics quickly translates these blueprints into a detailed mechanistic understanding of how such functions and processes work and are regulated; this understanding guides and empowers efforts to protect crops from diverse biotic and abiotic threats. Metagenome analyses help identify candidate microbes crucial for crop health and uncover how microbial communities associated with crop production respond to environmental conditions and cultural practices, presenting opportunities to enhance crop health by judiciously configuring microbial communities. Efficient conversion of disparate types of massive genomics data into actionable knowledge requires a robust informatics infrastructure supporting data preservation, analysis, and sharing. This review starts with an overview of how genomics came about and has quickly transformed life science. We illuminate how genomics and informatics can be applied to investigate various crop health-related problems using selected studies. We end the review by noting why community empowerment via crowdsourcing is crucial to harnessing genomics to protect global food and nutrition security without continuously expanding the environmental footprint of crop production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-995
Number of pages15
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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