Part of the book: Biotechnology
Marker-assisted selection (MAS) is a complementary tool for conventional breeding where a molecular marker linked to a trait is indirectly selected. Many studies conducted have been able to identify and develop markers for traits such as disease and pest resistance and other abiotic stresses. Despite the availability of these markers, the technology has been extensively used in tomato breeding for the identification of some economic traits in particular disease resistance. In developed countries, MAS is utilized routinely in breeding programs, but this cannot be said for developing countries such as Africa. It is high time Africa as a continent looks at the importance of the technology and invests in it. In addition to MAS, other strategies such as marker-assisted backcrossing and recurrent selection have also been employed for breeding in tomato. The use of MAS in crop improvement will not only reduce the cost of developing new tomato varieties but will also increase the precision and efficiency of selection in the breeding program as well as lessen the number of years required to come up with a new crop variety.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Tomato Breeding and Production
Plant cryopreservation is useful for long term storage of clonal germplasm and endangered species. Clonally propagated crops which produce recalcitrant seeds cannot be easily conserved using conventional methods. Preservation of plants in vitro is limited to two years and not ideal for germplasm storage for a very long time. The need to conserve plant genetic resources through cryopreservation techniques to mitigate the effects of climate change such as extinction of certain plant species cannot be underestimated. Different cryopreservation methods including dehydration, programmed freezing, vitrification and v cryo-plate are employed in the long-term storage of different plants. These methods are usually based on the principle of the removal of freezable water from tissues by physical or osmotic dehydration followed by ultra-rapid freezing. There have been several advancements in the identification and use of cryoprotective agents, nonetheless, its toxicity remains a challenge. To accelerate plant cryopreservation, there is the need for the development of global expertise. The current practice for the conservation of germplasm in the Biotechnology Laboratory in Ghana is through the use of slow growth media. Moving forward, there is the need to work on developing cryopreservation protocols for preservation of germplasm using liquid nitrogen and cryogenic refrigerators.
Part of the book: Cryopreservation