Why marker assisted gene pyramiding?
For traits that are simply inherited, but that are difficult or expensive to measure phenotypically, and/or that do not have a consistent phenotypic expression under specific selection conditions, marker-based selection is more effective than phenotypic selection.
Traits which are traditionally regarded as quantitative and not targeted by gene pyramiding program can be improved using gene pyramiding if major genes affecting the traits are identified.
Genes with very similar phenotypic effects, which are impossible or difficult to combine in single genotype using phenotypic selection, can be pyramided through marker assisted selection.
Markers provides a more effective option to control linkage drag and make the use of genes contained in unadapted resources easier.
Pyramiding is possible through conventional breeding but is extremely difficult or impossible at early generations..
DNA markers may facilitate selection because DNA marker assays are non destructive and markers for multiple specific genes/QTLs can be tested using a single DNA sample without phenotyping.
• Molecular marker offer great scope for improving the efficiency of conventional plant breeding.
• Gene pyramiding may not be the most suitable strategy when many QTL with small effects control the trait and other methods such as marker-assisted recurrent selection should be considered.
• With MAS based gene pyramiding, it is now possible for breeder to conduct many rounds of selections in a year.
• Gene pyramiding with marker technology can integrate into existing plant breeding program all over the world to allow researchers to access, transfer and combine genes at a rate and with precision not previously possible.
• This will help breeders get around problems related to larger breeding populations, replications in diverse environments, and speed up the development of advance lines.
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