Resources for Reverse Genetics Approaches in Brassica Species
Gene, genomic and genome sequences are being generated with incredible speed, thanks to the advent of cheaper and faster sequencing technologies. For plants, the Arabidopsis thaliana (Col-0) genome was sequenced in its entirety in 2000, and a number of whole-genome sequences in additional A. thaliana ecotypes have been completed since then, providing an amazing resource for functional genomics in this species. Although Arabidopsis is still the only genus of the Brassicaceae family to have its genome completely sequenced, a multinational effort is currently ongoing to obtain first the sequence of the A genome (Brassica rapa) and ultimately all the cultivated Brassicas of the “U triangle”. The obvious challenge is therefore what to do with this massive amount of information. How does these data expand our knowledge of plant biology or aid in the development of tools for crop improvement? In this chapter we will describe the current status of the principal resources available for reverse genetics approaches in the Brassica genus, TILLING and RNAi, and discuss their advantages and disadvantages for the study of plant biology and the development of tools for crop improvement.
KeywordsReverse genetics Gene silencing TILLING Gene function
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