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Mikel R. Stevens, Shawn A. Chrisensen, Ammon B. Marshall, JoLynn J. Stevens, Peter Wenzl, Eric Hunter, Jason Carling and Andrzej Killian

Recently, a technology known as DArT (diversity array technology) has been developed to increase throughput in marker assisted selection (MAS). DArT utilizes microarray technology as a method to potentially compare thousands of molecular markers in one test to a single DNA sample. We used DArT on two sets of interspecific tomato [Solanum lycopersicum (Fla 7613) × S. pennellii (LA 716 or LA 2963)] segregating populations (BC, F2, and F1). We compared over 300 segregating plants to 3840 random tomato genomic fragments. After the 3840 markers were prepared, it took about 2 weeks of laboratory time to perform the experiments. With experience, this time can be reduced. We identified a total of 654 polymorphic markers usable for developing a DArT tomato genetic map. Depending on the particular cross, 13 to 17 linkage groups were identified (LOD 3) per population. Most recently, the amplified polymorphic DNA (AFLP) technique has been used for rapid genetic mapping of large numbers of anonymous genomic fragments. Besides the additional effort and reagents using AFLPs compared to DArT, a desired AFLP polymorphic band is often difficult to clone and process into a PCR based marker, whereas in DArT all markers are already cloned and immediately available for such experiments. A drawback to DArT is that it requires specialized software and equipment and is technically demanding. However, once the equipment and software are secured, techniques are optimized, and segregating populations developed, marker throughput is increased by orders of magnitude. Although challenging, the application of DArT can dramatically increase MAS throughput, thus facilitating quantitative trait and saturated mapping research.