DUPLO: A collection of Arabidopsis thaliana double mutants

A significant proportion of the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana consists of paralogous gene pairs which originate from recent segmental duplications. In total, A. thaliana contains more than 2000 such gene pairs. Because those genes often have overlapping or redundant functions, their functional characterisation by forward or reverse genetics requires the inactivation of both gene copies. We will generate such double mutants as a resource that will be instrumental for the functional characterization of these genes. SALK and GABI-Kat insertion lines which share the Columbia-0 background will be the starting material for the double mutants.

The first step is a detailed analysis of the A. thaliana genome to identify gene pairs that share high similarity in sequence and expression pattern, and have a large 'distance' to a potentially existing third related gene. In addition, insertion mutants must be available for the genes in a given pair. The respective insertion alleles will be identified and confirmed, and plants homozygous for the mutation will be selected. Two mutants containing insertion alleles for a paralogous gene pair will be crossed to generate mutants heterozygous for both loci. In the next generation, homozygous double mutants will be identified by PCR genotyping. We will also provide a visual phenotyping with respect to morphological/developmental characteristics of the double mutants. The double mutants generated within the project will be made available to the scientific community by donation to NASC (“Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre”).

(German project description on the main GABI homepage)