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Plant Breeding, Genetics, & Genomics

SNP Marker Development

Researchers at the USDA-ARS small grains genotyping center in Fargo, ND; University of California at Davis, CA; and Montana State University at Bozeman, MT, conducted research to determine the utility of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers for genetic mapping and genetic diversity applications in commercial U.S. wheat varieties. The work was done by the Wheat Coordinated Agricultural Project, funded by the NIFA National Research Initiative Plant Genome Program.

DNA markers have been used extensively for genetic analyses. SNPs are a marker system that can differentiate individuals based on variations detected at the level of a single nucleotide base in the genome. Such variations are present in large abundance in the genomes of higher organisms including plants. 

The research team evaluated a set of 359 SNP markers derived from gene and intron regions of the wheat genomes on 20 wheat cultivars. Adequate levels of diversity were observed among wheat cultivars for SNPs located in two of the genomes (A and B genomes). However, lower genetic diversity was found in markers developed for another genome (D genome), suggesting the need for a dedicated SNP discovery effort for this genome among elite wheat germplasm. With increasing SNP discovery projects and the development of high-throughput SNP assay technologies, it is anticipated that SNP markers will play an increasingly important role in wheat genetics and breeding applications.

Results from this study were presented in San Diego, CA, at the Plant and Animal Genome XVI Conference in January 2008 and were published in the journal Molecular Breeding in July 2008.


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Last Updated: 09/15/2008