Mining genomes for improved product quality and human nutrition

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Henry, RJ, Bradbury, LMT, Bundock, PC, Cordeiro, GM, Cross, MJ, Crawford, AC, Fitzgerald, TL, Izquierdo, L, Kennedy, BG, Lee, LS, McIntosh, SR, Pacey-Miller, T, Rice, N, Shapter, FM, Watson, L, White, JF & Waters, DLE 2006, 'Mining genomes for improved product quality and human nutrition', paper presented to the Plant and Animal Genomes Conference XIV, San Diego, California, USA, 14-18 January.


Analysis of polymorphisms at the SNP level has been facilitated by the development and application of a range of new tools. New approaches to polymorphism detection such as robust allele specific PCR, RT-PCR with novel chemistries, pyrosequencing and primer extension assay by mass analysis, allow high throughput screening of large numbers of genes. These tools have accelerated the rate of discovery of the DNA sequence variations linked to important genetic traits. Examples of recent associations made in our work, include the discovery of the basis of fragrance and gelatinization temperature in rice. We have established a Plant DNA bank to collect and store genomic DNA from native and mutated genotypes for use in allele mining and genomic diversity studies. The bank is now being mined for alleles contributing to improved cereal grain quality and human nutrition in barley, rice, sorghum and wheat. SAGE and microarray analysis are being used to extend the range of candidate genes subjected to polymorphism analysis.