Navigation Links
Searching for genes behind a trait
Date:3/24/2010

A method pioneered to find the genetic basis of human diseases also holds promise for locating the genes behind important traits in plants, according to a study published online March 24 by the journal Nature.

A large team led by biologists at the University of Southern California carried out what one author called "the first extensive use" of genome-wide association (GWA) in a plant species. The study located dozens of genes that may determine key traits such as flowering time and disease resistance.

The study broke new ground for two reasons: the authors studied natural variation of 107 different traits a far higher number than in previous studies in nearly 200 strains of a common weed collected from all over the world; and advances in genetic analysis enabled the authors to check the genome for mutations at many more points.

"The useful applications to agriculture, biofuel production and potentially changing and challenging plant growth conditions are vast," said Susanna Atwell, a co-first author and postdoctoral researcher at the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

"This data set and methodology holds the potential to determine genes involved in natural variation in metabolite levels, biomass, flowering time, salt or heavy metal tolerance and disease resistance, to name but a few."

In this study, the authors compared the genomes of up to 192 families of Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant widely studied by geneticists. The comparison took place at 250,000 pre-selected locations in the genome.

The comparison allowed the authors to identify parts of the genome that may contain genes responsible for observed variations in a given trait such as flowering time.

Since the comparison does not guarantee that a gene causes a particular trait, any genes identified through genome-wide association need to be tested further. Team members now are studying about 60 previously unknown genes to confirm their predicted function.

"GWA mapping is a faster method for locating causal genes as the genes are located to a smaller region than previous mapping techniques I have used," Atwell said. "Our data set does a good job of locating previously known ones, so we have confidence that the novel genes that are also identified will also be real."

Atwell expects the study to become a major resource for the community of geneticists working on A. thaliana, which numbers about 5,000 laboratories worldwide.

The Nature study culminates years of work by scientists led by senior author Magnus Nordborg, formerly of the molecular and computational biology department at USC College and now based at the Gregor Mendel Institute in Vienna, Austria.

"It's been Magnus' pet project for a very long time," Atwell said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Carl Marziali
marziali@usc.edu
213-740-4751
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Biochemist researching computer models of protein structure that help high school, college students
2. Searching for an interglacial on Greenland
3. Searching for pollution in the Caribbean
4. New MegaMatcher Accelerator Boosts Speed for High-Volume Biometric Identification and Database Duplicate Searching
5. Genome mapping technique speeds process of finding specific genes
6. Genes may exert opposite effects in diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease
7. Study finds genes that keep watch on blood clotting time
8. A fingerprint for genes
9. New research shows genes of pregnant women and their fetuses can increase the risk of preterm labor
10. TGen becomes center of excellence for Horizon Discoverys GENESIS and X-MAN technology
11. Ability to navigate may be linked to genes, researcher says
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/12/2017)... DIEGO , Jan. 12, 2017  Trovagene, Inc. ... tumor DNA (ctDNA) technologies, today announced that it has ... Europe and the Middle East ... tests.  This milestone marks the first wave of international ... for urine and blood samples. The initial ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... , Jan. 11, 2017  Michael Johnson, co-founder of Visikol ... Capital Group, Inc., has been named to the elite "Forbes 30 ...  was one of 600 people in 20 fields nationwide to be ... of the 15,000 applicants were selected. ... He is currently a PhD candidate at Rutgers ...
(Date:1/4/2017)... , Jan. 4, 2017  For the thousands of attendees at ... global leader in connected health and biometric measurement devices and services, will ... On display in A&D Medical,s special CES Exhibit Suite ... the ongoing expansion of the company,s WellnessConnected product platform.  ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... DUBLIN , Jan 19, 2017 Research ... Market by Profiling Technology, Biomolecules, Cancer Type, Application - Global Opportunity ... ... Report, forecasts that the global market is projected to reach $15,737 ... of 13% from 2016 to 2022. Omic technologies ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and HOUSTON , ... ("NX Prenatal") today announced the formation of its ... leading clinicians and industry veterans who enhance the ... as it accelerates development of its novel prenatal ... provide medical, clinical and strategic guidance for the ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Jan 19, 2017 Research and Markets ... has announced the addition of the ... - Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The report provides a detailed analysis on current and future market ... 2025, using estimated market values as the base numbers ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 19, 2017 , ... ... software to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and regulators, is proud to ... CFR Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide product vigilance departments with the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: