Genetic markers in forest genetics and breeding - the tunnel remains dark

Alfred E. Szmidt and Xiao-Ru Wang

In: Forest Genetics and Sustainability (2000). C. Matyas (ed), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: 31-48.

For reprint send email to: Alfred E. Szmidt


An increasing concern with biodiversity and conservation of forest ecosystems has contributed to fast growth of research on population biology of woody plants employing molecular markers. A large number of marker technologies currently exist for detecting genetic variation in the nuclear genome. However, each of the available techniques involves trade-offs in the amount and quality of information that can be obtained. As a consequence, the choice of techniques for molecular markers, has become an important issue in forest population biology and breeding. Furthermore, despite rapid technological advances the available nuclear codominant markers for woody plants are still relatively scarce and often restricted to only a few species. In this contribution we give an overview of the molecular markers available for forest trees and discuss their usefulness for various types of population genetic studies. We also give an overview of the techniques that can provide additional codominant DNA markers suitable for population analysis.

Keywords: genetic markers, population biology, breeding

by Alfred E. Szmidt