We are discovering key genetic elements that control the growth of maize cells, expanding genome editing options in maize and other staple crops.
Many important crop species, including maize, are recalcitrant to gene transfer, tissue culture response, and regeneration. Maize transformation is genotype-dependent and most maize inbred lines exhibit low regenerability. The lack of effective approaches is a bottleneck for genome editing staple crops.
Our key goal is to understand the genetic mechanisms of tissue culture response. We will (1) sequence a transformation-amenable maize inbred line A188, (2) sequence pools of highly culture-amenable and highly culture-recalcitrant F2 individuals from the cross of A188 and a transformation-recalcitrant inbred line B73 to map QTLs related to plant regeneration, (3) produce hundreds of double-haploid lines derived from A188 and B73 and evaluate their tissue culture response, and (4) validate candidate genes related to regeneration by a combination of genetic studies and gene regulation networks. Our results will be applicable to other transformation-recalcitrant species.
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