Application of molecular markers in plant genome analysis: a review

Advancement in the field of molecular biology has led to the development of various molecular markers which has revolutionized our understanding of the organization and evolution of plant genomes. Detection of genetic variation in plants offers an opportunity to understand the molecular basis of several biological phenomena. The reliability and efficiency of restriction digestion and polymerase chain reaction based random DNA markers have already proved their utility in taxonomical, evolutionary and ecological studies of plants. Progresses in the field of genomics and transcriptomics have enabled plant researchers to develop molecular markers derived from exon region of the genome which are termed as genic molecular markers (GMMs). GMMs are the part of the cDNA/EST sequences that mainly characterize the functional part of the genome. Next-generation DNA sequencing has also significantly contributed towards development of microRNA specific novel functional markers at the DNA level. This review focuses on the technical aspects of different molecular markers and their applications in the genome analysis.