According to the Dutch saying, “Measuring is knowing”, it is important to quantify as many parameters in plant breeding as possible. A often neglected parameter is the DNA content of a plant. Plants are very forgiving in allowing changes in their DNA on a chromosome level. Many crops have more than two sets of chromosomes, varying therefore in ploïdie level. Crosses can be made between species of different ploidy levels, or genome sizes. All these processes have been done for centuries without knowing what happened on a genomic level. Although flow cytometry is not a new technique, it is often overlooked in agricultural practices. With flow cytometry we can determine (i) the level of ploidy and/or DNA content of parental lines and offspring, (ii) the vitality of pollen at the moment of making crosses, and (iii) the quality of seed batches can be screened for aneuploidy or inbreds.
In this presentation we will give you an introduction to flow cytometry and the uses of flow cytometry in breeding, seed quality, and indirect breeding activities such as cell biology.
Ruben Verbeek is research manager of the analytical lab at Iribov since 2018. Flow cytometry measurements are performed in the analytical lab of Iribov as service for breeding support and seed quality. Iribov is also a provider of flow cytometers in collaboration with Quantum Analysis.