Using genetic markers in plant breeding
At the link is a detailed account of the latest techniques in plant breeding, where scientists use genetic sampling of seedlings to test for desired traits - everything from flood-resistant rice strains to better tasting tomatoes. They then breed these specific plants.
snip - nside of it, two robotic arms perform a frenzied dance with plastic plates, each containing almost 100 leaf samples.
The machine, called the Biocell, does the work of 30 lab technicians and can process tens of thousands of tissue samples daily, said Jeff Touchman, Monsanto's head of molecular breeding in Woodland. The samples are liquefied, clarified and eventually injected into tiny indentations on a clear plastic ribbon.
The ribbon is spooled onto a scanner that uses light to trigger a chemical fluorescence, which reveals the presence of any desired genetic markers. A blue Internet cable threads upward, carrying the data to Monsanto's headquarters in St. Louis, where the company's vegetable breeders around the globe can download their results.
"If plants were people, we could test the entire population of Los Angeles for breast cancer susceptibility in a month and a half," Touchman said. "We think this is the highest throughput of genetic testing in the world, of any industry."
It is about to get higher.
For plants with larger seeds, breeders can clip off a piece of the seed and test its DNA without waiting for it to grow into a seedling. snip
My reaction - Wow. Much more at the link
Here is a link that might be useful: link
This post was edited by david52 on Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 10:48