Wednesday, November 15, 2006 - 4:00 PM

Applying markers in vegetable breeding.

Thomas Osborn and Carl Braun. Seminis Vegetable Seeds, 37437 State Highway 16, Woodland, CA 95695

Molecular markers have become an integral component of many vegetable breeding programs.  The decision to implement markers as a selection tool is based on considerations of cost savings that can be realized by using markers in place of other approaches, and any additional value their use may bring to specific applications.  The cost of marker analyses has steadily decreased due to the development of new, less expensive marker technologies, and by the implementation of automation for marker detection.  Thus, for phenotypes that are simply inherited, screening with markers is often less expensive, and may be more precise, than screening for the phenotype.  Markers bring additional value when they can be used to accelerate the development of new cultivars.  This may occur when phenotypes can be assessed only in specific seasons (markers can be done anytime), or by improving the efficiency of selecting recurrent parent during backcrossing or of selecting multi-locus genotypes.  Examples of applications in commercial breeding programs will be presented.