Today, many ecological and evolutionary studies depend on a wide range of molecular tools to infer phylogenetic relationships, uncover population structure within species, and track quantitative traits. Agricultural studies use these same tools to improve crop yield and increase resistance to pests and disease. However, many of these methods—such as amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLP), inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR), and random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)—have technical limitations. These include issues of reproducibility, ambiguity in determining homology, and significant demands on both cost and time for researchers. Sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) markers show promise as an alternative to traditional markers as they have proven to be highly variable and less technically demanding to obtain and use. This recently developed dominant marker technique produces genome-wide fragments and has been used primarily in studies aimed at crop development. Previous studies have utilized this method to identify pathogen-resistant markers and better understand the genetic basis of fruit and flower form and structure, as well as flowering and fruiting times. In a new, open-access publication in the July 2014 issue of Applications in Plant Sciences, researchers at Ohio State University have made a case for the use of these markers across a broad range of research fields including plant systematics, biogeography, conservation, and ecology. "These markers exhibit variation useful for uncovering genetic structure at a variety of taxonomic levels, constructing linkage maps, and have proven valuable for the improvement of agronomic crops," explains Dr. Daniel Robarts, lead author of the study. Dr.
Login Or Register To Read Full Story