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Review Article

Assessment of plant genetic variations using molecular markers: A review

Hasnain Hussain, Mehvish Nisar.

Climatic changes affect various organisms, including plant species, becoming unfavorable for the environment and socioeconomic value, prompting an increase in activities related to plant resources conservation. The successful conservation of plant genetic resources depends on the proper identification and characterization of plant material. One of the notable developments in genetic conservation is the use of molecular markers for assessing the conservation and use of plant genetic resources. This review is devoted to the use of molecular marker techniques for genetic assessment of plant genetic variations. Development in these techniques provides smooth, reliable, and effortless ways for assessing known and unknown taxa, between and within species. These techniques provide a revelation to researchers on taxonomical and evolutionary questions which were not possible earlier. The polymerase chain reaction-based molecular markers give rise to various novel techniques due to the simplicity and high reproducibility of the methods. Examples including a combination of earlier techniques, such as restriction fragment length polymorphism, random amplification of polymorphic DNA, simple sequence repeat, intersimple sequence repeats, single nucleotide polymorphism, and amplified fragment length polymorphism, have been used for plant genetic variations and polymorphism studies. Progress in the advanced high-throughput sequencing techniques or next-generation sequencing technologies has been rapidly utilized to study genetic diversity broadly and to identify suitable genes and alleles rapidly. These techniques offer a practical resolution to the challenges in crop genomics. This review explains the recent advances in the molecular marker techniques, along with the advantages, uses, and limitations. Each technique differs in resolving the genetic variations and polymorphism in plant species.

Key words: Molecular markers, DNA fingerprinting, Assessment of diversity, Genetic variation

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