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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2002  |  Volume: 5  |  Issue: 10  |  Page No.: 1141 - 1147

Molecular Markers in Plant Breeding-II. Some Pre-requisites for Use

S. Farooq and F. Azam    

Abstract: This paper describes some of the pre-requisites for applying molecular markers in plant breeding or crop improvement programmes. This includes, possible answers to some of the very pertinent questions regarding marker-assisted plant breeding. For example, I) how an effective marker system is to be selected, ii) how, when and where these expensive technologies can be used efficiently and iii) what particular problem would be solved just by using a particular marker system. The most commonly used marker systems including restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), micro-satellite or simple sequence repeat (SSR) and random amplified polymorphic DNAs (RAPDs) have been described in detail. The advantages and disadvantages (if any) of these marker systems and their practical utilization in different areas of crop improvement programmes have been discussed. Different methods of integrating molecular markers in conventional plant breeding programmes have also been described in greater detail with special reference to varietal identification and germplasm characterization, marker-assisted selection for qualitative and quantitative traits and abiotic stress tolerance. It is suggested that in all these cases, cost-effective application of markers can best be achieved through collaboration with those who excel in this technology. This collaboration is also necessary in order to integrate the systems and technologies to deliver the product in minimum possible time and with minimum extra input/investment in terms of operational expenses.

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