, Volume 142, Issue 1-2, pp 169-196

An introduction to markers, quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and marker-assisted selection for crop improvement: The basic concepts

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Recognizing the enormous potential of DNA markers in plant breeding, many agricultural research centers and plant breeding institutes have adopted the capacity for marker development and marker-assisted selection (MAS). However, due to rapid developments in marker technology, statistical methodology for identifying quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and the jargon used by molecular biologists, the utility of DNA markers in plant breeding may not be clearly understood by non-molecular biologists. This review provides an introduction to DNA markers and the concept of polymorphism, linkage analysis and map construction, the principles of QTL analysis and how markers may be applied in breeding programs using MAS. This review has been specifically written for readers who have only a basic knowledge of molecular biology and/or plant genetics. Its format is therefore ideal for conventional plant breeders, physiologists, pathologists, other plant scientists and students.