The use of a sex-linked molecular marker for early sex diagnosis in the dioecious species Asparagus officinalis L. was evaluated. Screening of random genomic probes as a part of a restriction fragment length polymorphism mapping project resulted in the identification of a sex-linked (6.9 cM) marker. The usefulness of this molecular tool was compared to morphological markers for prediction of gender in several genotypes. The level of polymorphism detected by this probe was high, and the level of incorrect sex attribution, as determined by this method, was low (≈7%).
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