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Date:4/15/2011

of the same quality as the parent plant. It can be costly if a high percentage of the micropropagated sub-clones are off-types that have to be scrapped.

The scientists have been awarded a Fundamental Research grant (FRGS) from the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education to use DNA marker systems to investigate how these mutations occur. Such marker systems have been widely used to detect the genetic similarities and differences in micro-propagated material in various plants and are simple, quick and cost-effective for routine application.

The research is being carried out by Dr Peter Alderson and Dr Chin Chiew Foan in the School of Biosciences, UNMC.

Dr Chin Chiew Foan said: "Our research will help to provide a tool for tracking abnormality of growth occurring in tissue culture and will also attempt to understand how such abnormalities can occur after a number of cycles of subculturing in tissue culture. Currently, we are developing a tool that will explore the internal RNA sequence region to detect sequence variations. Our initial results indicate that some variability of DNA fragments exists among the tissue culture samples under study. We are sending these DNA fragments for sequencing to reveal the level of mutations that has taken place."

The funding is for two years and will meet the costs of a Graduate Research Assistant as well as other research staff. To date, this is the first study investigating the possible occurrence of genetic variants of Vanilla planifolia through these types of regeneration protocols. Findings from the study will provide useful guidance on the suitability of tissue culture protocols for long term use for vanilla regeneration without risk of genetic instability.


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Contact: Emma Rayner
emma.rayner@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-595-15793
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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