Good things often come in small packages, so it's not surprising that microsatellite genetic markers developed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have major benefits for berry research. The markers are being used throughout the United States for research on blueberries and cranberries.
Microsatellites are collections of short, repetitive, non-coding DNA sequences that can be used to compare species and varieties. Useful microsatellites show considerable sequence variation among individuals. This variation can be used to track genetic diversity and greatly accelerate breeding for improved agronomic, quality and nutritional traits. They have been used to enlarge genetic maps, identify berry cultivars and establish relationships between berry varieties.
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