Submitted to: Congress on In Vitro Biology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/6/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Even a modest set of a few hundred anonymous molecular genetic markers is sufficient for a number of applications in practical plant improvement. One application is the discovery of genetic loci that control traits of economic importance. Discovery may be of a single genetic locus that controls most or all of the variation in phenotype or of Qualitative Trait Loci (QTL). In the latter case, a number of loci interact to produce a phenotype. Once a particular allele or form of a marker or markers is associated with a phenotype, the marker can be used for indirect selection of that phenotype. Such indirect or "marker assisted selection" can be a considerable savings in the context of a plant improvement program if the plant phenotype is difficult or expensive to measure. Anonymous genetic markers also serve as a vehicle for genetic characterization and identification. With the advent of "Plant Variety Protection", identification of varieties is becoming an acceptable supplement to identification based upon phenotype alone. Likewise, characterization of plant genomes using a set of anonymous genetic markers can be employed for the selection of parents in plant breeding programs and for the assessment of genetic variation in plant germplasm collections and native plant populations.