Molecular Marker Use in Tree Fruit and Woody Ornamental Plant Breeding

in HortScience
Author: David Byrne1
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  • 1 Texas A&M University, Horticultural Sciences, College Station, TX, 77843-2133

Fruit and ornamental breeders were surveyed about their use of molecular markers in either their breeding programs or in their related research programs. Responses were obtained from over 100 fruit and ornamental breeding programs from throughout the world. Of these, less than 50% used molecular markers in their programs. The two most common uses of these markers were for studies in plant identification and diversity. These were followed by the use of markers in developing molecular maps, in discovering molecular tags and/or trying to identify the genes for specific plant traits, for marker assisted selection, and finally, for the elucidation of plant taxonomy. In conclusion, although there is much research in this area, few programs are actually using markers in the context of an applied breeding program. The major reason for this situation is the lack of available markers and the cost of using these markers to screen large numbers of progeny. Those that use markers in their breeding tend to use them to verify the genotype of the parents or confirm the genotype of selected seedlings rather than screen unselected seedlings.

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