A tiny snip from the leaf of a sprout gives geneticists a clear picture of the plant’s potential as a prospect. Molecular markers highlight genes associated with desirable traits, such as yield, quality and disease resistance. Markers are used in selecting the parents for the initial cross, as well as in several successive generations. On a strand of DNA, a previously identified marker signals a desirable trait. Seedlings with multiple desired traits are cultivated into adult plants. Sampling seedlings A chipped seed with its embryo left intact. To speed the process further, scientists can now chip and test some seeds before germination. Chipping seeds

SOURCE: Monsanto, Syngenta.