Mutation scanning of peach floral genes
Wilde, H Dayton
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Abstract Background Mutation scanning technology has been used to develop crop species with improved traits. Modifications that improve screening throughput and sensitivity would facilitate the targeted mutation breeding of crops. Technical innovations for high-resolution melting (HRM) analysis are enabling the clinic-based screening for human disease gene polymorphism. We examined the application of two HRM modifications, COLD-PCR and QMC-PCR, to the mutation scanning of genes in peach, Prunus persica. The targeted genes were the putative floral regulators PpAGAMOUS and PpTERMINAL FLOWER I. Results HRM analysis of PpAG and PpTFL1 coding regions in 36 peach cultivars found one polymorphic site in each gene. PpTFL1 and PpAG SNPs were used to examine approaches to increase HRM throughput. Cultivars with SNPs could be reliably detected in pools of twelve genotypes. COLD-PCR was found to increase the sensitivity of HRM analysis of pooled samples, but worked best with small amplicons. Examination of QMC-PCR demonstrated that primary PCR products for further analysis could be produced from variable levels of genomic DNA. Conclusions Natural SNPs in exons of target peach genes were discovered by HRM analysis of cultivars from a southeastern US breeding program. For detecting natural or induced SNPs in larger populations, HRM efficiency can be improved by increasing sample pooling and template production through approaches such as COLD-PCR and QMC-PCR. Technical advances developed to improve clinical diagnostics can play a role in the targeted mutation breeding of crops.