Plant Mutagenesis and Mutant Screening


Plant mutagenesis is the induction of new genetic variants, frequently by treatment with chemicals, ionizing radiation, or mobilization of insertion elements. The new genetic variation may be used to give insight into almost any biological process.

Keywords: mutagenesis; somaclonal variation; epistasis

Figure 1.

The use of primers from the transposon and from the gene to identify an insertion in the gene of interest by PCR amplification. Usually the PCR product is sequenced to confirm the result. In the case of sequenced tagged collections, the sequencing from the primers in the insert is already done, and the results are stored in a searchable database.

Figure 2.

Linear biochemical pathway to demonstrate the simplest case of epistasis. A, B and C are metabolites whose concentrations are affected by the genes and the enzymes they encode.



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Further Reading

Avery L and Wasserman S (1992) Ordering gene function: the interpretation of epistasis in regulatory hierarchies. Trends in Genetics 8: 312–316.

Bouché N and Bouchez D (2001) Arabidopsis gene knockout: phenotypes wanted. Current Opinion in Plant Biology 4: 111–117.

Evans DA (1989) Somaclonal variation: genetic‐basis and breeding applications. Trends in Genetics 5: 46–50.

Feldmann KA, Malmberg RL and Dean C (1994) Mutagenesis in Arabidopsis. In: Somerville CR and Meyerowitz EM (eds) Arabidopsis, pp. 137–172. Cold Spring Harbor: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Krysan PJ, Young JC and Sussman MR (1999) T‐DNA as an insertional mutagen in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 11: 2283–2290.

Malmberg RL (1993) Production and analysis of plant mutants emphasizing Arabidopsis thaliana. In: Glick BR and Thompson JE (eds) Methods in Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, pp. 11–28. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Neuffer MG (1982) Mutant induction in maize. In: Sheridan WF (ed.) Maize for Biological Research, pp 61–64. Charlottesville, NC: Plant Molecular Biology Association.

Rédei GP (1975) Arabidopsis as a genetic tool. Annual Review of Genetics 9: 111–127.

Tautz D (2000) A genetic uncertainty problem. Trends in Genetics 16: 475–477.

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Malmberg, Russell L(Jul 2003) Plant Mutagenesis and Mutant Screening. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002020]