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The use of molecular markers in efficient crop improvement: Marker Assisted Breeding, a Learning Module.

Theresa Fulton, with Robert Koebner

This learning module was designed to be used either as the basic material for a course or as a self-tutorial.  It is geared towards scientists or upper-level students with a good background of biology, genetics and plant breeding. It is expected that readers have some understanding of molecular markers (a number of resources are given throughout, if not).
It is meant to complement other learning modules available, such as those available or in progress for molecular markers, genetic diversity, phenotyping, and plant breeding.

The module is presented in 7 sections:
1. Introduction: containing background information and the advantages and disadvantages of using markers in plant breeding.
2. Selection of markers in MAB: gives a brief overview of the common types of markes and criteria for selecting which to use, including a review of key concepts such as genome organization and PCR.
3. Genetic diversity and germplasm selection: discusses the role of genetic diversity in MAB, why it is important and how it is assessed, and how this relates to selection of germplasm to use in MAB.
4. Tips on phenotyping in MAB: an overview of the types of data, scoring methods, and key points for experimental design.
5. Genetic linkage mapping: reviews important concepts of inheritance, genetic linkage, recombination, and the development of linkage maps.
6. Quantitative trait analysis: discusses quantitative trait loci, prerequisites for identifying, principles of QTL mapping, and issues in MAB.
7. Applications and future directions:  includes examples of the use of MAB from the literature, and how developing and future technologies may impact MAB.

In addition, a Resources section is included, as well as a glossary and comprehensive list of references.