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Ag-Biotech Offers Male Sterility Locus Marker Services for Breeding Onions
Date:4/2/2013

San Juan Bautista, CA (PRWEB) April 02, 2013

Ag-Biotech Inc., a leading commercial plant genomics testing laboratory, now offers DNA-based markers that can rapidly determine the cytoplasm [normal (N) male-fertile versus male-sterile (S)] and genotypes at the nuclear male fertility restoration (Ms) locus in commercial onions, all for about 0.35 US cents per test. The availability of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) based test is expected to reduce the number of backcrosses of male-sterile to fertile maintainer lines to produce adapted male-sterile lines for hybrid development, a process that currently takes several years.

Ag Biotech has the capacity to not only to distinguish N and S cytoplasms of onion, but also the scoring of individual plants for the nuclear male-fertility-restoration locus (Ms), which facilitates the selection of maintainer lines from segregating families or open-pollinated populations.

“This technology will significantly reduce the time and expenses of creating new male-sterile lines of onion since the development of maintainer lines are essential for hybrid creation and production,” said Dr. Mark Massoudi, President of Ag-Biotech Inc.

With the SNP genotyping platform, Ag-Biotech has the capacity to process thousands of samples a day to quickly reduce the number of crosses and phenotypic evaluations for male sterility with much higher accuracy of selection and faster progress to market. The development allows breeders to rapidly and directly identify maintainer lines in different onion backgrounds, therefore accelerating the improvement and the introduction of new F1 hybrid cultivars in commercial onions.

Given the material from thousands of plants, Ag-Biotech can determine which ones have the characteristics required for hybrid development for 0.35US cents—a phenomenally low
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