Molecular Tools for Plant Breeding
Molecular techniques will have an enormous impact on plant breeding. Marker-assisted selection and marker-based genetic distance analysis are presently used for many breeding programs. They help to accelerate backcrossing procedures and to predict the performance of progeny. Furthermore, genetic engineering tools offer interesting alternatives for crop production. In particular, they can facilitate the development of plants with better pest and disease resistance and improved quality characteristics. Such transgenic plants have undergone extensive safety studies and were commercially grown on 40 million hectares worldwide in 1999. Nevertheless, breeding in the laboratory alone will never be a realistic alternative, and so future plant breeding will continue to rely on traditional procedures of selection and field-testing. Locally adapted varieties will be fundamental whether transgenic technologies are employed or not.
KeywordsTransgenic Plant Plant Breeding Restorer Gene Transplastomic Plant Genetic Engineering Tool
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