14 ERA-CAPS: INvestigating TRiticeae EPIgenomes for Domestication (INTREPID)

Lead Research Organisation: Earlham Institute
Department Name: UNLISTED


Plant breeding uses DNA sequence variation to make new allelic combinations for crop improvement. Our creation of the first wheat gene sequence assemblies (Brenchley et al Nature 491, 705) has enabled new levels of high throughput precise genotyping for breeding this globally important crop. Nevertheless, there are other levels of heritable variation, such as epigenetic modifications, that are widely thought to play a key role in shaping genomes and creating new variation. We have recently developed highly efficient re-sequencing technologies for wheat that can measure DNA methylation in genes of multiple lines. This provides an outstanding opportunity to assess epigenetic variation in a major polyploid crop and understand how it may influence traits. The overall objective of this proposal is to use newly available wheat genome
resources, together with our innovative application of exome capture and bisulphite sequencing, to measure epigenetic modifications in wheat genes, and relate these to gene expression and the acquisition of new phenotypes, and how they may contribute to genetic changes such as gene loss during polyploid formation.


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