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Plant Biotechnol J. 2012 Sep;10(7):761-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7652.2012.00708.x. Epub 2012 Jun 1.

TILLING in extremis.

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John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK.


Targeting induced local lesions in genomes (TILLING), initially a functional genomics tool in model plants, has been extended to many plant species and become of paramount importance to reverse genetics in crops species. Because it is readily applicable to most plants, it remains a dominant non-transgenic method for obtaining mutations in known genes. The process has seen many technological changes over the last 10 years; a major recent change has been the application of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to the process, which permits multiplexing of gene targets and genomes. NGS will ultimately lead to TILLING becoming an in silico procedure. We review here the history and technology in brief, but focus more importantly on recent developments in polyploids, vegetatively propagated crops and the future of TILLING for plant breeding.

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