Speed-up for molecular markers

A new technique developed in WA could improve the efficiency of molecular markers in plant breeding.

Molecular markers are the tools plant breeders use to speed up the process of selecting new varieties with desirable qualities. For example, in lupins, where this technology will be first used, valuable genes exist for Anthracnose resistance.

The new technique was developed by Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture researchers Huaan Yang, who is employed on a project supported by the Federal Government and growers through the GRDC, and Penny Smith of the University of Western Australia (UWA).

The new method offers a more rapid, reliable and inexpensive method for developing markers. It has been named Microsatellite-Anchored Fragment Length Polymorphisms (MFLP).

The researchers say MFLP does much more than speed the process of finding the unique DNA fingerprint for a plant or animal. It also improves the efficiency of discovering co-dominant, locus-specific markers for molecular mapping