Biodiv Sci

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Application of Molecular Diagnostics to Plant Genetic Resources Conservation


  1. Biotechnology Research Center, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081
  • Received:1994-03-18 Revised:1994-05-20 Online:1995-12-20 Published:1995-12-20


The importance of plant genetic resources to past, present, and future crop agriculture has been recognized by scientists. Conservation of genetic resources is actually to maintain genetic diversity. The quality of any collection should not be based predominantly on size or use, but rather on how well the ex-situ collection represents, conserves, and makes accessible the genetic diversity of taxon. Curators have to make balance within range of limited funding between the relatively short-term needs of users and the long-term maintenance of maximum genetic diversity within minimum number of accessions. Addressing these challenges requires effective conservation and utilization of plant genetic resources. Part of the solution to this challenge may lie in the use of powerful, yet relatively simple and inexpensive molecular techniques to generate information to better organize the useful genetic variation within a collection. In this mini-review, three molecular techniques (RFLPs, AFLPs, and SSLPs) and their uses in the assessment of genetic diverssity are to be described.

Key words: soybean, rhizobia, genetic diversity, restriction fragment length polymorphism