INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN CIENCIAS AGRARIAS DE ROSARIO
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
Use of Molecular Markers to Improve the Agro-Industrial Productivity in the North West of Argentina
RACEDO J; PERERA MF; CASTAGNARO AP.
Genetic improvement of crop plants through conventional breeding has been the cornerstone to improve global agricultural production. Nowadays, different molecular biology techniques have become available to supplement and assist conventional breeding, among them the utilization of molecular markers. The generation of molecular, or DNA, markers are based on two basic molecular biology methods in order to be able to detect polymorphism: Southern blotting, a nucleic acid hybridization technique, and the amplification in vitro of specific DNA segments by the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique . By using these two methods and several variations of the basic technologies, many different kind of molecular markers have been developed during the last decades. It is important to note that for a molecular marker to be efficient in crop breeding it should meet most of the following criteria [: high level of polymorphism; even distribution across the whole genome (not clustered in certain regions); co-dominance (or capacity to identify at heterozygous); clear distinct allelic features; single copy; low cost to use (or cost-efficient marker development and genotyping); easy assay/detection and automation; high availability (un-restricted use) and suitability to be duplicated/multiplexed (so that the data can be accumulated and shared between laboratories); genome-specific in nature (especially with polyploids) and have no detrimental effect on phenotype. However, the choice of the best marker system depends on many other factors as well including crop genetics and available resources (time, reagents, equipments, etc).