SNP Discovery and Subsequent Use
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  • SNP Discovery and Subsequent Use

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Title: SNP Discovery and Subsequent Use

Speaker: Stuart Lucas

Date/Time: April 15, Wednesday, 12:40 - 13:30

Place: FENS G032

Abstract: Molecular markers have an important role in modern crop improvement, as they enable breeders rapidly to screen large numbers of plants for traits for which the phenotype cannot easily be measured – the basis of Marker Assisted Selection (MAS).  Among the many marker types that have been developed, Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) are by far the most abundant and ubiquitous differences between any two genomes, meaning that they are highly effective for resolving the location of important trait genes.  

In the last decade, Next-Generation Sequencing techniques have provided a rapid increase in the availability of crop genome sequences, which are a rich resource for SNP discovery.  We are mining the recently published draft genome sequences of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) to discover SNPs that will be a useful tool for improving a crop whose large, complex genome and low recombination rate have been a major hindrance to genetic mapping and marker-assisted breeding.  The challenges of accurately identifying SNPs in NGS datasets from complex genomes will be discussed, along with the bioinformatic tools and strategies available to address them.  Technical methods available for employing SNPs in breeding programmes will also be presented.

Bio: Stuart Lucas completed his Bachelors and Masters qualifications in Biochemistry from Oxford University.  During his Masters he particularly enjoyed studies both in Immunology and Plant Molecular Biology.  He did his doctorate with Dr. Anthony Holder at the National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK, on expression of immunomodulatory gene families in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, followed by post-doctoral research on immunomodulators from Vaccinia virus at Imperial College, London.

After moving to Turkey in 2009 he switched fields from human immunology to plant genomics, working with Prof. Hikmet Budak on the physical mapping and sequencing of bread wheat chromosomes.  For the last 2 years he has been responsible for the genomics laboratory at SUNUM, and his continuing research is focused on using genomic studies to support breeding and improvement of a variety of crop species.