High throughput analysis of gene expression using transcriptomics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Ctr for Plant Sciences


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Technical Summary

The genomics equipment will provide essential research infrastructure within the Faculty of Biological Sciences and will support research group projects across a range of disciplines from Plant Science to Pathology. The requested equipment includes: the high resolution, multi-format Agilent microarray scanner, a GeneSpring workstation for microarray data analysis and a NanoDrop ND-1000 UV-Vis spectrophotometer for rapid, accurate analyses of extremely small biological samples. This equipment will be integrated into the faculty¿s genomics facility and will streamline and standardise microarray hybridisation protocols. Microarray-based global expression analysis will enable the development of greater integrative or holistic understanding of biological processes. Transcriptomics technologies also form an important part of the BBSRC ten year plan and are a central aspect of the NERC Post Genomics and Proteomics initiative and Environmental Genomics research programme. These initiatives highlight the power of microarrays to determine the role of gene regulation in cellular differentiation, disease and responses to the environment. Statistical analysis of global gene expression allows the identification of novel genes with potential roles in specific cellular pathways. These methodologies represent invaluable tools in the characterisation of the large numbers of genes of unknown function identified in the sequenced genomics of model organisms.


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Description This grant was used to purchase a microarray scanner which allows high throughput analysis of gene expression and formed part of a larger suite of instruments for the analysis of DNA and RNA. This infrastructure supported a large number of grants and several studentships in Leeds and helped the University to maintain its international competitiveness.
Exploitation Route An example of how findings might be taken forward is provided by the work of Prof Urwin. Microarray analysis provided important insights into the global changes in gene expression following nematode infection. Expression patterns of genes that have roles in the interaction between M. incognita and Arabidopsis were analysed during the parasitic process. This work provided a platform to discern those gene responses that are primary causative events in the formation and particularly the maintenance of nematode feeding sites.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

Description Understanding nematode infection provides the opportunity to develop novel protective strategies in the light of the withdrawal of major nematicides in the UK
First Year Of Impact 2008
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink