, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 129–137 | Cite as

Statistical aspects of essential derivation, with illustrations based on lettuce and barley

  • F.A. van Eeuwijk
  • J.R Law


The concept of essential derivation was introduced by UPOV in 1991 to refine the scope of breeders' rights. The intention of the essential derivation concept was to confer breeders protection against fraudulent practices in which ‘new’ varieties are produced from current, protected ones without a genuine breeding effort. A new variety that has passed the standard UPOV tests for Distinctness, Stability and Uniformity, and therefore is eligible for receiving breeders' rights, can still largely be the same as a currently protected variety for a conglomerate of ‘essential’, phenotypic traits. Practical implementations of the essential derivation concept entail the definition of a threshold value for genetic conformity between initial and new, putatively derived varieties, beyond which the breeder of the new variety may be asked to prove the genuine nature of his breeding effort. An attractive option for the definition of threshold values for genetic conformity consists in the use of similarities calculated from molecular marker characterizations of varieties. The use of marker based similarities in essential derivation cases raises a number of predominantly statistical questions, such as how to define a reference population of varieties within which potential essential derivation disputes could occur, how many marker loci to use for a required precision, and how to define a threshold value on the basis of the observed distribution of similarity values. This paper describes the first results from special studies undertaken to answer these questions in lettuce and barley.

AFLP barley breeders' rights intellectual property lettuce plant variety protection 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bernardo, R., A. Murigneux & Z. Karaman, 1996. Marker-based estimates of identity by descent and alikeness in state among maize inbreds. Theor Appl Genet 93: 262–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Gordon, A.D., 1981. Classification. Chapman and Hall, London.Google Scholar
  3. International Seed Federation, 1999. Essential derivation and dependence. Practical information. Scholar
  4. International Seed Federation, 2003. ISF view on intellectual property. Scholar
  5. Lombard, V., P. Dubreuil, C. Dillmann & C.P. Baril, 2001. Genetic distance estimators based on molecular data for plant registration and protection: A review. Acta Horticulturae 546: 55–63Google Scholar
  6. Lynch, M. 1988. Estimation of relatedness by DNA fingerprinting. Mol Biol Evol 5: 584–599.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Melchinger, A.E., M.M. Messmer, M. Lee, W.L. Woodman & K.R. Lamkey, 1991. Diversity and relationships among U.S. maize inbreds revealed by restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Crop Sci 31: 669–678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Nolte, I.M. & G.J. te Meerman, 2002. The probability that similar haplotypes are identical by descent. Ann HumGenet 66: 195–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pritchard, J.K., M. Stephens & P. Donnelly, 2000. Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data. Genetics 155: 945–959.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. van Eeuwijk, F.A. & C.P. Baril, 2001. Conceptual and statistical issues related to the use of molecular markers for distinctness and essential derivation. Acta Horticulturae 546: 35–53.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • F.A. van Eeuwijk
    • 1
  • J.R Law
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant BreedingWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.NIABCambridgeU.K

Personalised recommendations