What Does DNA Fingerprinting Of Plants Mean?
Scientists manage to conduct thorough plant DNA fingerprinting by applying molecular marker techniques to pinpoint different cultivars. It entails the use of genetic DNA oriented markers to identify and differentiate the species and ecosystems of individual plants. These genetic markers can be molecular, morphological, or biochemical in nature. In most cases, scientists tend to use the morphological markers because they are simple and irreplaceable. However, research indicates that morphological markers may be prone to environmental influence and, hence, errors.
Molecular markers are preferred by scientists with a keen interest in using techniques that exhibit high levels of non-tissue polymorphism. In other cases, the scientists using molecular markers may prefer these techniques due to their tendency to exhibit simple inheritance patterns without being influenced by epistasis and environmental factors. Biochemical makers come in handy when the scientists want to pinpoint the parental lines, wild relatives, as well as landraces. Biochemical markers face a two key drawbacks characterized by low variability and complex inheritance patterns. They are also subject to high influence from environmental factors.
Plant DNA fingerprinting is a difficult activity because it does not mirror the fingerprinting of human beings. In particular, scientists must generate, confirm, as well as assign unique DNA fingerprints to specific plants unlike humans who are born with unique fingerprints. Research indicates that the DNA fingerprints generated by scientists for the plants are accurate because they originate from the nucleotide sequence of plants. Each plant species possess nucleotide sequence that is entirely different from those of the others. DNA fingerprinting is also complex because it involves dealing with large populations or multiple species.
Nonetheless, DNA fingerprinting of plants is developing rapidly due to massive gains in protocol optimization as well as marker isolation. Scientists have used the DNA fingerprinting technique to identify the composition of the plant species “Fuchsia” in the past. Fuchsia is a collection of diverse flowering plants typically comprising of small trees and shrubs. Scientists claim that there are roughly 110 species of this ornamental flower in different parts of the globe. A large number of these flowers grow in South America. Other regions with Fuchsia species include Tahiti, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Central America, and a few parts of North America. The flowers are pretty and decorative while fruits are edible.
Scientists tend to apply DNA fingerprinting techniques to differentiate between the diverse species of fuchsia. Additionally, these techniques enable researchers to identify the core genetic diversity of the species given that one cannot tell the difference using naked eyes. Currently, DNA fingerprinting of fuchsia species outlines the genetic components of these ornamental plants clearly.
Such endeavors can enable scientists to identify the backcross progenies that resemble fuchsia in terms of genetic composition. However, commercial operators argue that plant DNA fingerprinting is achieving more than the identification of the genetic composition and diversity of specific plants. For them, this field is pushing the world towards more technological advances because personnel dealing with these intricate undertakings must interact with policymakers, breeders, legal experts, biometricians, and computer analysts. Meanwhile, the researchers are also required to attain expertise in the process to guarantee accurate identification and documentation of the molecular characterizations of the plants.