Molecular breeding

David R. Walker, Maria J. Monteros, Jennifer L. Yates

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Marker-assisted selection (MAS) with DNA markers has played an increasingly important role in soybean breeding since the early 1990s. This is a result of improvements in technology, increasing saturation of the soybean genome with markers, the evergrowing number of trait loci that have been tagged with markers, the ability to accomplish certain objectives more efficiently or even exclusively using MAS, and the demonstrated power of MAS to improve and complement conventional breeding methods. The development and extensive utilization of PCR-based markers, particularly SSRs and SNPs, has been a major factor in making MAS feasible for soybean improvement. Although MAS cannot entirely replace phenotypic selection in cultivar development, it provides breeders with a tool to transfer useful genes from exotic germplasm with minimal linkage drag, select for resistance in the absence of a pest or pathogen, pyramid resistance genes into the same genetic backgrounds, identify heterozygotes carrying one allele of a beneficial recessive gene, and to assess the effect of specific combinations of alleles on a trait of interest. Recent and ongoing advances in soybean genomics and sequencing, genotyping technologies, and bioinformatics are making MAS increasingly efficient, accurate and affordable for public and private sector soybean breeders. Innovations at major seed companies have resulted in a large-scale adoption of MAS and in a shift from selection at one or.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGenetics, Genomics, and Breeding of Soybean
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages46
ISBN (Electronic)9781439844663
ISBN (Print)9781138115033
StatePublished - Apr 19 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • DNA markers
  • Marker-assisted selection
  • SNP
  • SSR
  • Soybean breeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Engineering(all)

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