Biotech Updates

Recombination: A Tool for Bad Mutation Identification

March 18, 2015

Breeding crops for improvement encounters several hindrances. One of these is the associated bad mutations once a desirable trait has been observed. In the study conducted by Cornell University researchers, this dilemma has been overcome. This was done by examining recombination in the genome of a total of 7,000 maize varieties. Recombination is a process where regions of genomes of each parent are swapped into offspring.

Their study reveals that the regions in the maize genome are stable and highly predictable among the varieties due to similarities in their junctions during recombination. In addition, maize genome showing a low recombination rate gains the highest rate of bad mutations. Presence of bad mutations in a DNA region indicates its difficulty of improving the crop through conventional means and time-consuming. Genome editing can then be adopted to fix these bad mutations identified and will be helpful for further crop improvement.

Read full details of the story at Cornell University's website.