Whole genome approaches to identify early meiotic gene candidates in cereals
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Early events during meiotic prophase I underpin not only viability but the variation of a species from generation to generation. Understanding and manipulating processes such as chromosome pairing and recombination are integral for improving plant breeding. This study uses comparative genetics, quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis and a transcriptomics-based approach to identify genes that might have a role in genome-wide recombination control. Comparative genetics and the analysis of the yeast and Arabidopsis sequenced genomes has allowed the identification of early meiotic candidates that are conserved in wheat, rice and barley. Secondly, scoring recombination frequency as a phenotype for QTL analysis across wheat, rice and barley mapping populations has enabled us to identify genomic regions and candidate genes that could be involved in genome-wide recombination. Transcriptome data for candidate genes indicate that they are expressed in meiotic tissues. Candidates identified included a non-annotated expressed protein, a DNA topoisomerase 2-like candidate, RecG, RuvB and RAD54 homologues.
KeywordsGenome-wide recombination QTL Comparative genetics Transcriptomics Meiosis
The authors thank Dr Amanda Able (School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, The University of Adelaide) for reviewing this manuscript and Dr Junjian Ni for assistance in obtaining the raw rice mapping data used in this study. This research was supported by the Australian government under the Australia–India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) and the Indian government through the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
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