Paul Ruddle II,
University of Georgia
Subject Listing - Biology
Advisor: Dr. Susan Wessler
Friday, Poster Session 3, Presentation Kiosk 22 A, Health & Fitness Center
INTEGRATING COMPUTATIONAL AND EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS TO STUDY TRANSPOSABLE ELEMENTS (TES) IN MEDICAGO TRUNCATULA
Transposable elements (TEs) are genetic elements that can move (transpose) from one genetic locus to another and, in doing so, frequently increase their copy number. To date, TEs have been found in all characterized eukaryotic genomes where they frequently are the most abundant component. Although several studies in the last decade have provided insight into the impact of TEs on genome structure and organization, many aspects of TE biology are still not well understood. In this study, we analyzed a significant fraction (~100Mb) of the available Medicago truncatula (Medicago) genome sequence. Medicago is a member of the Leguminosae family, which includes several agriculturally important crops such as soybean and garden pea. Within the legume family it is considered to be a model organism because of its small genome size (~500Mb), relatively fast generation time (~3 months, seed to seed), and capacity for genetic manipulation including transformation. For the analysis of the Medicago database, we devised strategies to identify and characterize a wide variety of TE types and used the output of this computational analysis to develop experimental tools. Based on preliminary results, we find that Medicago contains all of the classes of TEs found in previous analyses of plant genomes, including transposase encoding elements, retrotransposons, Helitrons and MITEs (miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements). The information generated from this study will facilitate annotation of the Medicago genome as well as the genomes of other legumes and will furnish valuable tools, such as molecular markers, for the genetic analysis of Medicago.
Advisor: Dr. Susan Wessler, Regents Professor, Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA