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A forward genetic screen for Arabidopsis gene(s) that control meiotic recombination

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At present, food production is inadequate to support the increase in global population. Introduction and implementation of modern approaches in agriculture have the potential to increase crop yields through classical breeding that relies on natural variation. Meiotic crossovers between homologous chromosomes generate novel allelic combinations of beneficial traits. Studies on meiotic recombination in model species have led to the identification of key genes that interfere crossover formation. For example, SPO11 is a key gene required for meiotic DSB formation that is conserved across species. However, it is likely that downstream genes that lead to crossover remain to be identified. To isolate novel regulators of meiotic recombination in Arabidopsis, I am conducting a forward genetic screen using EMS -mutagenized 420 GR/++ fluorescent crossover reporter lines. The aim is to isolate mutants that quantitatively alter crossover frequency and identify the mutated genes by genetic mapping. Understanding the function of major factors in homologous recombination will be helpful to effectively manipulate and enhance crossovers thereby genetic variability during crop improvement. In parallel, I am designing and generating a novel fluorescent crossover reporter system that uses seed and pollen promoters simultaneously.

This talk is part of the Plant Sciences Departmental Seminars series.

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