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Trends Plant Sci. 2011 May;16(5):282-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2011.02.006. Epub 2011 Mar 24.

Fast-forward genetics enabled by new sequencing technologies.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.


New sequencing technologies are dramatically accelerating progress in forward genetics, and the use of such methods for the rapid identification of mutant alleles will be soon routine in many laboratories. A straightforward extension will be the cloning of major-effect genetic variants in crop species. In the near future, it can be expected that mapping by sequencing will become a centerpiece in efforts to discover the genes responsible for quantitative trait loci. The largest impact, however, might come from the use of these strategies to extract genes from non-model, non-crop plants that exhibit heritable variation in important traits. Deployment of such genes to improve crops or engineer microbes that produce valuable compounds heralds a potential paradigm shift for plant biology.

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