Marker Genes

When working with natural cross-pollination in autogamous crops, marker genes can be invaluable for identifying the results of cross-pollination, which normally occurs at a low rate. Obviously, a dominant gene is more useful than a recessive gene.

For example, in breeding white beans, black beans can be inter-planted with the white beans. Black seeds harvested from white bean parents are the result of cross-pollination. These black beans are then grown and self-pollinated. Their progeny segregates into white and black beans, which are selfed for several generations for late selection. The best of both the black and the white beans are then used as parents in the next breeding cycle.

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