Location: Crop Germplasm Research2012 Annual Report
1. New molecular markers for pecan. Pecan is an important U.S. nut crop that is especially critical to the success of many small farmers. There is an ongoing need for new pecan varieties that are more environmentally adaptable, productive, pest and disease resistant, and that have enhanced nutritional value. Modern tools of molecular biology can be utilized to facilitate rapid development of improved crop varieties; however, use of such tools in pecan development lags that in other crops. ARS researchers at College Station, Texas, working with Texas A&M University colleagues, have utilized molecular techniques to develop hundreds of molecular markers known as Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms or SNPs. These SNPs will be used in pecan research to identify genetically controlled traits that will be exploited to greatly speed development of new, better pecan varieties for the benefit of both producers and consumers.