To protect plant patents, rose breeders would benefit from a reliable and sensitive method for differentiating cultivars at the genetic level. Rcombinant DNA technologies are being employed to characterize individual DNA structure of numerous rose cultivars. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) are being studied to develop a characteristic pattern, or fingerprint for each cultivar. DNA from various cultivars is restriction enzyme digested and the fragments separated by agarose gel electrophoresis. The gel is Southern blotted and hybridized with probes from the rose DNA library to yield RFLPs. RFLPs are being located and will eventually result in a characteristic fingerprint for each cultivar.
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