Abstract & Bio
 Title : “Use of markers in seed purity, IP and molecular breeding: perspectives from industry ”


Name & Designation


Dr Elizabeth Jones
Project Manager-GOBII
Cornell University


Abstract :

Molecular markers can be used in every part of the research and seed production pipeline; from parental selection, to mapping and introgressing genes, selecting progeny, fixing lines, managing seed QC and characterizing and protecting germplasm. There are many different marker technologies available that can provide data for 1 to millions of polymorphisms per sample, with pricing varying greatly on a per marker or sample basis.  At the same time, the demand for reduced breeding cycle time and an increase in field and greenhouse labor costs means that timelines for marker data delivery and analysis are critical to keeping costs contained and breeding timelines on track. The selection of appropriate marker technologies and managing marker data efficiently are both therefore important considerations for any breeding and seed production pipeline, with cost constraints increasingly driving technology application decisions.    

Biography :

Elizabeth Jones has a background in molecular breeding, including managing high throughput marker labs, establishing seed purity protocols, germplasm IP, host pathogen genetics and pedigree analysis. She has been the product owner for LIMS, variant and marker design database systems.
She started out her career with a PhD in Plant Genetics studying pearl millet at the Center for Arid Zone Studies in Wales and working with the Cambridge labs in Norwich and ICRISAT in India. Her experience during this time generated a passion for plant genetics and molecular breeding and a great appreciation for the work of the CGIAR centers. After her PhD she worked at the UC Davis Department of Vegetable Crops on tomato genetic and QTL mapping, and at The Plant Biotechnology Center in Melbourne, Australia on improving traits in pasture species for the dairy industry.

A drive to more effectively integrate markers into seed production pipelines led to positions in industry; first at Pioneer, where she implemented the first high throughput SNP Genotyping Laboratory and developed marker protocols to characterize, manage seed purity and protect germplasm, and then at Syngenta Seeds, where she developed marker systems that can meet breeder needs for high quality data in a short timeframe and for low cost. In both of these industry positions, the development of efficient database systems have been key to effectively implementing marker systems. Her recent recruitment to the GOBII project to develop such as system fulfills a long standing aspiration to return to working with CGIAR centers.