Plant & Food Research scientists have an extensive knowledge of plant molecular biology which allows us to map genes for key traits and develop markers that inform the breeding programme.
Using our knowledge of genetic controls of key traits and an extensive germplasm collection, our researchers can identify alleles of genes that translate to novel traits of particular interest, such as colour, shape and size. To allow us to screen our breeding and seedlings resulting from crosses for combinations of alleles offering the best chance for commercial success, we are developing molecular markers for key traits using:
- Mapping populations for number of key crops
- Quantitative trait loci (QTL) and linkage maps
- Genome-wide association maps
- Phenotyping for quality and agronomic traits
- Single sequence repeats (SSRs) and microsatellites
- Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis.
We are also developing molecular markers for grower traits, such as sex markers for dioecious plants such as kiwifruit and hops, and markers for plant and disease resistance.