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Title: New technologies for high throughput genetic analysis of complex genomes
Author: Gardiner, Laura-Jayne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 751X
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2014
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High throughput sequencing can generate hundreds of millions of reads in a single day and is revolutionizing modern genetics. This project aimed to utilize next generation genetic approaches to analyze non-model but important agronomical plant species. A key feature of these species is their complexity. Mapping and SNP calling of these sequencing datasets is fundamental to many downstream analyses that have been implemented here including; mutant identification, comparative analyses between related organisms and epigenetic studies. The first objective in this project involved developing accelerated mutant identification techniques using mapping-by-sequencing analyses that combine whole genome sequencing with genetic mapping. Such methods have largely required a complete reference sequence and are typically implemented on a mapping population with a common mutant phenotype of interest. Here mutant identification was demonstrated on the model diploid plant Arabidopsis thaliana as a proof of principle of the methodology. It was also demonstrated on a simulated hexaploid mutant that was developed using the Arabidopsis reference genome. In species such as wheat, no finished genome reference sequence is available and, due to its large genome size (17 Gb), re-sequencing at sufficient depth of coverage is not practical. Therefore a genomic target enrichment approach was validated and used here to capture the gene rich regions of hexaploid bread wheat, reducing the sequencing cost while still allowing analysis of the majority of wheat’s genic sequence. A pseudo-chromosome based reference sequence was developed from this genic sequence with a long-range order of genes based on synteny of wheat with Brachypodium distachyon. Using the capture probe set for target enrichment followed by next generation sequencing; an early flowering locus was mapped in the diploid wheat Triticum monococcum and in hexaploid bread wheat Triticum aestivum, the stripe rust resistance gene was located. A bespoke pipeline and algorithm was developed for mutant loci identification and the pseudo-chromosome reference was implemented. This novel method will allow widespread application of sliding window mapping-by-sequencing analyses to datasets that are; enriched, lacking a finished reference genome or polyploid. The second main objective of this project involved a study of methylation patterns in wheat utilizing sodium bisulfite treatment, combined with target enrichment. An enrichment system was specifically designed, developed, validated and implemented here to perform one of the first studies of methylation patterns in hexaploid bread wheat across the 3 genomes that used a genome-wide subset of genes and can thus be used to infer genome-wide methylation patterns and observations. This investigation confirmed that differential methylation exists between the A, B and D genomes of wheat and that temperature is capable of altering methylation states.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QH301 Biology ; QH426 Genetics