Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(3):228-251. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.228


Natural and artificial mutants as valuable resources for functional genomics and molecular breeding

Shu-Ye Jiang, Srinivasan Ramachandran

Rice Functional Genomics Group, Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, Singapore 117604


With the completion of rice genome sequencing, large collection of expression data and the great efforts in annotating rice genomes, the next challenge is to systematically assign functions to all predicted genes in the genome. The generations and collections of mutants at the genome-wide level form technological platform of functional genomics. In this study, we have reviewed currently employed tools to generate such mutant populations. These tools include natural, physical, chemical, tissue culture, T-DNA, transposon or gene silencing based mutagenesis. We also reviewed how these tools were used to generate a large collection of mutants and how these mutants can be screened and detected for functional analysis of a gene. The data suggested that the current population of mutants might be large enough to tag all predicted genes. However, the collection of flanking sequencing tags (FSTs) is limited due to the relatively higher cost. Thus, we have proposed a new strategy to generate gene-silencing mutants at the genome-wide level. Due to the large collection of insertion mutants, the next step to rice functional genomics should be focusing on functional characterization of tagged genes by detailed survey of corresponding mutants. Additionally, we also evaluated the utilization of these mutants as valuable resources for molecular breeding.

Keywords: Functional Genomics, Molecular Breeding, Mutagenesis, Mutants, Rice

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How to cite this article:
Jiang SY, Ramachandran S. Natural and artificial mutants as valuable resources for functional genomics and molecular breeding. Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(3):228-251. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.228. Available from