(Posted Thu. Sep 26th, 2013)
Sept. 26: NCGA joined researchers from universities and private business, equipment manufacturers and software companies this week in St. Louis, at The Plant Genomics Congress USA. The Plant Genomics Congress USA agenda contained a great line-up of speakers who addressed how Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies continue to transform plant science. The speakers also examined the latest NGS technology platforms as well as tools to aid data analysis.
“Understanding the latest in genomic technology helps NCGA select the best research to support and give informed advice to USDA,” said Rick Vierling, NCGA’s Director of Research and New Uses. “The publishing of the maize genome was just the beginning, like most discoveries, knowing more information leads to more questions.”
An area of science that is relying heavily on next generation sequencing is the understanding of the control of gene expression. This line of inquiry includes genetic control through epigenetics, alternative RNA splicing and small RNAs. Understanding genetic control is crucial to improving hybrid performance. Manipulating these control mechanisms may lead to new traits by using non transgenic technologies such as site directed mutagenesis.