Breeding Considerations for Improving Cadmium and Zinc Hyperaccumulation in Two Thlaspi caerulescens Populations
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Cadmium is the second most widespread soil metal contaminant in the world and it has been suggested that phytoremediation using hyperaccumulator plants could be used to effectively remove harmful levels of soil metals. This research was conducted to provide basic information necessary for developing a breeding program to improve the phytoremediation potential of Thlaspi caerulescens, a promising hyperaccumulator plant. By determining the genetic structure of the source populations and estimating the heritability of traits of interest, gain from selection was predicted. Bulk segregrant analysis of DNA polymorphisms was used to identify markers linked to cadmium hyperaccumulation. DNA markers would reduce time and expense of selecting superior genotypes. However, confounding effects from marker technology, experimental design, and sample size reduced the potential for implementing the detected markers in a breeding program. Future experiments may still detect markers for hyperaccumulation and the T. caerulescens populations studied are valuable for phytoremediation application.