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A Whole-Genome Sequenced Rice Mutant Resource for the Study of Biofuel Feedstocks

03:25 EDT 6 Jul 2017 | Meridian Institute

Researchers led by Pamela Ronald, a professor at the University of California, Davis, United States, and director of Grass Genetics at the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), are reporting the first whole-genome sequenced fast-neutron induced mutant population of Kitaake, a model rice variety that has a short life cycle. The work is part of an effort to identify genes that control key traits in crops that could be used for biofuel production. Rice is a staple food for over half the world’s population, as well as a model for studies of candidate bioenergy grasses. Mutant plants, which have one or more of their genes altered, are an important tool for elucidating gene function. Kitaake has the ability to accelerate functional genetic research in rice due its short life cycle - just nine weeks. “Some of the most popular rice varieties people use right now only have two generations per year. Kitaake has up to four, which really speeds up functional genomics work,” said Guotian Li, a project scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and deputy director of Grass Genetics at JBEI. The whole-genome sequencing of this mutant population, published in the journal The Plant Cell, provides researchers with the opportunity to discover novel genes and functional elements controlling diverse biological pathways. As such, the Grass Genetics groups has established a web portal that allows users to find information related to the mutant collection, such as sequence, mutation and phenotypic data for each rice line.

Original Article: A Whole-Genome Sequenced Rice Mutant Resource for the Study of Biofuel Feedstocks

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