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Bioscience in brief

Plant genetics and crop breeding

How do you develop a new crop variety by marker-assisted selection (MAS)?

A genetic marker is a gene or DNA sequence with a known location on a chromosome that can be used to identify individuals or species. It can be described as genetic variation that can be observed.
Genetic markers can make the process of plant breeding more efficient.

Markers allow detection of genetic variation at a known location, which can be either the gene of interest, or a location nearby.

Markers are used as a way of indirectly selecting the plant trait of interest.

The breeder won’t have to wait until the next generation is fully grown to select plants carrying the desired traits. The next generation can be screened for the trait at any time.