Marker-assisted (or molecular-assisted) breeding is the
use molecular markers to track the genetic makeup of
plants during the variety development process. It
provides a dramatic improvement in the efficiency with
which breeders can select plants with desirable
combination of genes.
A molecular marker is a genetic
tag that identifies a particular location within a
plant’s DNA sequences.
Markers can be used in
transferring a single gene into a new cultivar or in
testing plants for the inheritance for many genes at
once. Markers can be based on either DNA or proteins.
Both DNA- and protein-based markers have been widely
used in plant breeding, but DNA-based markers by far
Greater numbers of DNA-markers can be
identified to cover all regions of an organism’s DNA,
and they are not based on the developmental stage of the
plant as many protein-based markers are.
markers can be derived from seeds or seedlings in rapid
screening tests performed by automated robotic systems.
Plants lacking the desired traits can be eliminated
before moving on to more expensive or lengthy greenhouse
or field trials.