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Isozymes for Tree Improvement

Although isozymes may be used to "fingerprint" individuals (i.e., each individual genotype has its own unique set of isozymes) the real power of isozyme analysis lies in its ability to detect genetic markers. By studying patterns of isozyme variability in full-sib hybrids, or in megagametophytes of conifers, it is possible to identify individual loci, and to determine if an individual is homozygous or heterozygous at a particular locus. By surveying numbers of individuals in populations it is possible to identify polymorphic loci (loci possessing several alleles in a population). Thus, by studying allozyme (allelic isozymes) variability it is possible to quantify genetic variation directly. Implications of this for the study of tree genetics and tree improvement are profound. The purpose of this presentation is to briefly show the relevancy of isozyme analysis to tree improvement and tree improvement-related activities.

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Author(s): Peter P. Feret

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Northeastern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1978