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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2006 Apr;9(2):164-71. Epub 2006 Feb 2.

Advances in maize genomics: the emergence of positional cloning.

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Plant Gene Expression Center, USDA-ARS, and Plant and Microbial Biology Department, University of California, Berkeley, 800 Buchanan Avenue, Albany, California 94710, USA.


Positional cloning has been and remains a powerful method for gene identification in Arabidopsis. With the completion of the rice genome sequence, positional cloning in rice also took off, including the cloning of several quantitative trait loci. Positional cloning in cereals such as maize whose genomes are much larger than that of rice was considered near impossible because of the vast amounts of repetitive DNA. However, conservation of synteny across the cereal genomes, in combination with new maize resources, has now made positional cloning in maize feasible. In fact, a chromosomal walk is usually much faster than the more traditional method of gene isolation in maize by transposon tagging.

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