Four Newly-Identified Genes Could Improve Rice
News Jun 29, 2016
Selective crop improvement based on plant genetics and breeding is essential to support the world’s growing population. In order to efficiently breed new crop varieties it is necessary to rapidly identify the genes related to high crop yields and analyze what makes them special.
Until now the genetic analysis of crops has mainly been based on quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis, but this method requires time to develop experimental populations. Another method known as genome-wide association studies (GWAS), frequently used to analyze human genes, uses data from many extant individuals to analyze genes in a short time span. Various plant species have also been analyzed using this method, but there have been very few cases of successful analysis.
In order to produce results using GWAS analysis, the research team limited their targets to 176 Japanese rice cultivars, including 86 cultivars used in Japanese-sake brewing that Kobe University has maintained over many years. Using next-generation sequencing, the group determined the whole sequence of each cultivar, and discovered a total of 493,881 of the DNA-based polymorphisms.
Based on these results, the team carried out GWAS analysis on each trait and rapidly identified four genes within a group of 12 rice plant chromosomes. Chromosome 1 contains a gene that decides rice flowering date; chromosome 4 contains a gene that influences panicle number produced, leaf breadth, and rice grain number; a chromosome 8 gene affects awn length (a factor which influences harvesting); and a gene within chromosome 11 decides flowering date, plant height, and panicle length.
Genetic analysis of plants based on GWAS has been carried out many times but with limited success. The success of this experiment could aid the discovery of genes in other plant and animal species and potentially contribute towards solving food shortages caused by population growth. The Japanese rice varieties maintained by Kobe University and used in this research could be used as valuable genetic resources to help identify other genes and breed new crop species.
Scientists at McGill have found the answer to a question that perplexed Charles Darwin; if natural selection works at the level of the individual, fighting for survival and reproduction, how can a single colony produce worker ants that are so dramatically different in size – from “minor” workers to large-headed soldiers with huge mandibles – especially if they are sterile?
Scientists have developed a successful method to make truly personalized predictions of future disease outcomes for patients with certain types of chronic blood cancers. The study combined extensive genetic and clinical information to predict the prognosis for patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms.
For centuries, gardeners have attempted to breed blue roses with no success. But now, thanks to modern biotechnology, the elusive blue rose may finally be attainable. Researchers have found a way to express pigment-producing enzymes from bacteria in the petals of a white rose, tinting the flowers blue.
2nd International Conference on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
May 17 - May 18, 2019
2nd World Congress on Genetics & Genetic Disorders
May 13 - May 14, 2019