Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: USING GENETIC DIVERSITY OF IMPROVE QUANTITATIVE DISEASE RESISTANCE AND AGRONOMIC TRAITS OF CORN Title: Use of Mutant-Assisted Gene Identification and Characterization (MAGIC) to identify useful alleles for crop improvement

Authors
item Balint-Kurti, Peter
item Johal, Guri -

Submitted to: Information Systems for Biotechnology News Report
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 2010
Publication Date: January 1, 2011
Citation: Balint Kurti, P.J., Johal, G. 2011. Use of Mutant-Assisted Gene Identification and Characterization (MAGIC) to identify useful alleles for crop improvement. Information Systems for Biotechnology News Report. 01-2011:1-3.

Interpretive Summary: Most important crop traits are controlled by many genes. While individually these genes have rather small effects, cumulatively their effects can be profound. For most traits, an enormous level of useful, naturally-occurring, genetic variation exists within wild relatives and land races etc.. This variation and the specific alleles that have beneficial effects on the trait may be very difficult to characterize and deconstruct as each allele may only have a small effect on a trait that may display substantial variation between environments (i.e. it has low heritability). Here we outline an approach to allow the discovery and characterization of useful alleles responsible for variation in, potentially, almost any trait. This approach involves the use of mutants which cause extreme phenotypes of the trait in question. The effects of genes important for that trait may have amplified effects in the background of the extreme phenotype and therefore these genes will be easier to characterize. We have validated this approach using a gene conferring an “autoimmune” response.

Technical Abstract: Most important crop traits are controlled by many genes. While individually these genes have rather small effects, cumulatively their effects can be profound. For most traits, an enormous level of useful, naturally-occurring, genetic variation exists within wild relatives and land races etc.. This variation and the specific alleles that have beneficial effects on the trait may be very difficult to characterize and deconstruct as each allele may only have a small effect on a trait that may display substantial variation between environments (i.e. it has low heritability). Here we outline an approach to allow the discovery and characterization of useful alleles responsible for variation in , potentially, almost any trait. This approach involves the use of mutants which cause extreme phenotypes of the trait in question. The effects of genes important for that trait may have amplified effects in the background of the extreme phenotype and therefore these genes will be easier to characterize. We have validated this approach using a gene conferring an “autoimmune” response.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page