Use of biochemical and molecular markers in genetic diversity studies.

Viviana Becerra V.1 y Mario Paredes C.

In the past decade there has been a remarkable increase in the use of genetic markers to characterize genetic diversity in different species. Some of these genetic markers have a different molecular basis, but all of them are focused to understand the organization of genetic structure of natural and cultivated populations. In addition, these markers have been used to determine the genetic similarity among and within populations avoiding environmental influence. Knowing the similarity between individuals and populations is of great utility in genetic improvement programs, because it allows the organization of material for the adequate selection of superior genotypes and the completion with phenotypic and agronomic data for the development of improved populations. This paper reviews the background of these markers based on their methodologies, and discusses their principal advantages and disadvantages.

Keywords: biotechnology, genetic diversity, polymorphism
1 Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, Centro Regional de Investigación Quilamapu, Casilla 426, Chillán, Chile. E-mail vbecerra@inia.cl.