DNA genetic markers, such as restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) and random amplified polymorphic DNA markers (RAPDs), are powerful tools for studying the genetics of plant growth and development. DNA markers are defined sequences of DNA that can be used in traditional linkage mapping. Using DNA marker technology, scientists can uncover relationships between cloned cDNA sequences and classically characterized genes. DNA markers make it possible to dissect the contributions of multiple genetic loci underlying complex developmental processes. Moreover, changes in genome organization that occur during development or in response to environmental signals can be monitored using RFLP technology. In the future, it may be possible to clone any gene based solely on its map position. This will involve the use of tightly linked DNA markers as entry points for chromosome walking, in which a series of overlapping genomic clones reaching from the tightly linked DNA marker to the gene of interest are identified.
- random amplified polymorphic DNA
- restriction fragment length polymorphism