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A New Approach to Molecular Plant Breeding

A USDA-ARS scientist in Ithaca, New York, is using a new statistical approach to help speed the development of improved varieties of crops.

Plant breeders constantly strive to breed new varieties that yield more, resist emerging pests and pathogens, tolerate heat and drought, and grow in marginal soils and environments. Increasingly, molecular tools are used to speed those efforts. By identifying genes associated with desirable traits, scientists don’t have to wait for time-consuming field observations.

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