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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Molecular Genetic Characterization of New Floricultural Germplasm

Author
item Meerow, Alan

Submitted to: Acta Horticulture Proceedings
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 21, 2004
Publication Date: August 4, 2005
Citation: Meerow, A.W. 2005. Molecular genetic characterization of new floricultural germplasm. Acta Horticulturae. 683:43-55.

Interpretive Summary: Understanding the genetics of floricultural germplasm represents a value-added component of managing collections. Molecular approaches collectively represent a potential goldmine of important information that can be applied to programs of genetic improvement. In fact, they can be applied to almost every component of a unified germplasm program. The use of molecular markers for genetic diversity analysis and as a selection tool is a high priority for new efforts in the development of ornamental cultivars and the exploitation of species diversity. Molecular marker and DNA sequence analysis of extant and new floricultural germplasm collections should allow a more complete characterization and understanding of the genetic relationships between species and cultivars. With the advent of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, numerous genetic marker approaches are available for germplasm characterization. In addition to estimating genetic diversity, these tools can be utilized to establish molecular markers for traits of interest. Once obtained, such markers can be further applied to breeding programs and developing various sorts of genetic maps. Molecular markers can also be used to confirm the parentage of individuals in a breeding population, for genetic 'finger-printing,' and protection of intellectual property rights.

Technical Abstract: Understanding the genetics of floricultural germplasm represents a value-added component of managing collections. Molecular approaches collectively represent a potential goldmine of important information that can be applied to programs of genetic improvement. In fact, they can be applied to almost every component of a unified germplasm program. The use of molecular markers for genetic diversity analysis and as a selection tool is a high priority for new efforts in the development of ornamental cultivars and the exploitation of species diversity. Molecular marker and DNA sequence analysis of extant and new floricultural germplasm collections should allow a more complete characterization and understanding of the genetic relationships between species and cultivars. With the advent of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology, numerous genetic approaches such as random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP), microsatellite DNA (SSR), expressed sequence tags (EST) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in candidate genes are available for germplasm characterization. In addition to estimating genetic diversity, these tools can be utilized to establish molecular markers for phenotypic traits of interest. Once obtained, such markers can be further applied in marker assisted breeding, developing various sorts of genetic maps, and as quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Molecular markers can also be used to confirm the parentage of individuals in a breeding population, for genetic 'finger-printing' with application towards intellectual property rights, and also for understanding systematic relationships of cultivated species.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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