Anton Lang Award

  • Apr 22, 2019

Date & Location: April 22, 2019, at 4p; Room 101 Biochemistry Building

Topic: Using a sequenced mutant population to dissect wheat spike development

Speaker: Dr. Jorge Dubcovsky

Host: Sheng Yang He

About the Event

The Anton Lang Memorial Fund was established in honor of the founding director of the Plant Research Laboratory, who passed away in 1996. Proceeds from the fund go towards annually supporting the Anton Lang Memorial Lecture and recognizing a graduate student and a postdoctoral research associate who exemplify the research excellence, ideas, dedication, and vision of Anton Lang.

Speaker University: University of California, Davis

Abstract: Induced mutations have been used to generate novel variation for breeding purposes since the early 1900s. However, the combination of this old technology with the new capabilities of high-throughput sequencing has resulted in powerful reverse genetic approaches in polyploid crops. We sequenced the coding regions of most genes for 2735 mutant wheat lines and generated and extensive databases of 10 million mutations. On average, we found 35 mutations per kb in tetraploid wheat and 40 mutations per kb in hexaploid wheat, which resulted in truncation or deleterious missense mutation in more than 90% of the captured wheat genes. This public collection of mutant seed stocks and sequence databases enables rapid identification of mutations in the different copies of the wheat genes (homeologs), which can be combined to uncover previously hidden variation. We are now testing recessive mutations that were previously found to be useful in diploid grass species. We are currently using these sequenced mutations to validate candidate genes, to develop wheat varieties with increase dietary fiber content (resistant starch), and to dissect complex developmental pathways including the regulation of flowering time and the number of spikelets in the spike.