Title: "Associating genes with traits in populations"
Speaker: Stan Luck, Dupont; Wilmington, DE
Place: Electrical Engineering (EE) 270, January 16th, Tuesday, 4:30pm


In this presentation I will discuss our efforts to use molecular markers in plant breeding programs to improve yield and disease resistance of maize. To characterize genetic diversity in maize, 10000 markers have been resequenced in a set of 600 diverse, elite inbred varieties from several heterotic groups. Cluster analysis of the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data for the markers shows that there is population stratification. Thus the inbreds can be separated into distinct genetic groups. About 9000 of the markers have been mapped by linkage analysis and by BAC sequencing. Association mapping studies for various traits have allowed us to identify regions of the genome that contribute to phenotype. The fine structure of the associations reflects the underlying linkage disequilibrium between markers.

1. Balding D. A tutorial on statistical methods for population association studies, Nature Rev. Genet. 7 (special issue on statistical analysis), 781 (2006)

2. Rostoks N., et al. Recent history of artificial outcrossing facilitates whole-genome association mapping in elite inbred crop varieties, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 18656 (2006)

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