New technique allows plant breeders to introduce crop traits without access to full genome of crops

| August 3, 2012
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A new technique will allow plant breeders to introduce valuable crop traits even without access to the full genome sequence of that crop. The technique, published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, links important agronomic traits in crop plants with active regions of the genome. Instead of requiring knowledge of the crop’s complete genome, it identifies only expressed genes. “For many crop plants, markers are still lacking because of the complexity of some plants’ genomes and the very high costs involved,” said Professor Ian Bancroft, who led the study at the John Innes Centre. “We have succeeded in developing markers based on the sequences of expressed genes, widening the possibilities for accelerated breeding through marker assisted selection.”

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