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Crop Biotech Update

Genomic Selection: A New Approach to Molecular Plant Breeding

April 20, 2012

A scientist at the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) has shown a better way of handling massive amounts of data from plant molecular studies using a statistical approach called Genomic Selection (GS) which will help speed up the development of improved crop varieties.

Jean-Luc Jannink demonstrated that through GS, scientists can capture and exploit more of the data from the increasing number of studies on DNA sequences in plant genomes. Jannink's GS approach can exploit more data by including all small-effect quantitative trait loci (QTLs), whereas conventional marker-assisted selection (MAS) approach has limited capacity to detect QTLs or estimate their effects.

The press release is available at http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/apr12/plant0412.htm. This research and more are in the April 2012 issue of Agricultural Research magazine at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/apr12/