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ISBN 9783843906920

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978-3-8439-0692-0, Reihe Biologie

Norman Warthmann
Finding the Causal Genes: Developing Tools for Natural Variation Research

102 Seiten, Dissertation Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen (2012), Softcover, A5

Zusammenfassung / Abstract

This cumulative doctoral thesis comprises several publications concerned with research on Natural Variation in plants.

Natural Variation research describes variation in phenotype and genotype and attempts to explain the phenotypic differences observed between individuals by differences in their genotype. One approach frequently deployed to establish this link between a phenotype (aka trait) and its underlying gene(s) is genetic mapping in experimental populations to locate the gene(s) in the genome, followed by candidate gene validation. The lack of genetic markers as well as the lack of specific, yet versatile, methods for cost-effective candidate gene validation had slowed progress in the past.

The thesis describes the development of large marker sets, which facilitated efficient genetic mapping in populations of Arabidopsis thaliana, and contributions to the development of gene silencing by artificial miRNAs (amiRNAs) as reverse genetics tool in Arabidopsis, and rice, which provides a cost-effective way of validating candidate genes.

The link between genetic variation and phenotype can also be established starting at the other end; by testing different variants of a gene in the same genetic background and observing the effects on the phenotype. A comparative analysis of different homologs of the gene for microRNA 319 within the Brassicaceae and the functional relevance of identified sequence changes are presented.