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Plant breeding, Plants -- Genetic markers, Plants -- Evolution, Plant ecology


Genetic markers have provided plant ecologists with a method of assessing levels of genetic relatedness among individuals and populations. In recent years a number of techniques based on DNA sequence variation have been developed to complement allozyme methods that are already widely used. Some of these new markers are more variable than protein-based markers, allowing more precise estimates of genetic differences among individuals and populations. Other DNA-based markers are based on organelle genomes that are inherited uniparentally. These cytoplasmic markers can provide a method for assessing the separate effects of seed and pollen dispersal on gene flow within and among populations and species. Studies of hybrid populations have been facilitated by the development of inferential techniques for assessing levels of selection and patterns of introgression between species. Genetic markers have also been used to describe mating patterns within populations and to examine the ecological and genetic mechanisms that contribute to variation in selfing and reproductive success. Integration of ecological methods with genetic marker techniques continues to provide novel approaches to the study of evolutionary processes in plant populations.


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