Development and use of molecular markers: past and present.

Molecular markers, due to their stability, cost-effectiveness and ease of use provide an immensely popular tool for a variety of applications including genome mapping, gene tagging, genetic diversity diversity, phylogenetic analysis and forensic investigations. In the last three decades, a number of molecular marker techniques have been developed and exploited worldwide in different systems. However, only a handful of these techniques, namely RFLPs, RAPDs, AFLPs, ISSRs, SSRs and SNPs have received global acceptance. A recent revolution in DNA sequencing techniques has taken the discovery and application of molecular markers to high-throughput and ultrahigh-throughput levels. Although, the choice of marker will obviously depend on the targeted use, microsatellites, SNPs and genotyping by sequencing (GBS) largely fulfill most of the user requirements. Further, modern transcriptomic and functional markers will lead the ventures onto high-density genetic map construction, identification of QTLs, breeding and conservation strategies in times to come in combination with other high throughput techniques. This review presents an overview of different marker technologies and their variants with a comparative account of their characteristic features and applications.

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