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Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Centre
for Cultivated Plants

Head
Prof. Dr. Henryk Flachowsky (Acting Head)

Address
Pillnitzer Platz 3a
01326 Dresden, Germany

Office
Ms Martina Tanner
Tel: +49(0)394647 – 8001
Fax:
+49(0)394647 – 8002
E-mail:
zo@  julius-kuehn.  de

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Institute leaflet
Institute booklet

Molecular genomics

Investigating genome structure and studying gene function: We use this knowledge as basis for breeding decisions in selection and in accelerating the development of new cultivars.

Knowledge about genes and molecular mechanisms determining agronomical and consumer-relevant traits has increased rapidly. We identify genes and genomic regions which are responsible for important traits. For these genes, we develop molecular markers which help our breeders to successfully identify suitable parents and the right gene combinations in progenies. With this knowledge about the genetic basics of relevant traits (i.e. resistance, fruit color, fruit flavor) we study germplasm and breeding material. We use the following techniques and tools in achieving our goals:

  • genetic fingerprints and phylogenetic distance analysis
  • mapping populations and genetic linkage studies
  • linkage-, QTL- and genome-wide association maps
  • expression data for functional genome analysis
  • phenotypic data obtained from all research fields
  • various marker systems

Novel biotechnological methods are appropriate tools to discover the function of single genes and alleles which play an important role during expression of traits of interest. This knowledge helps to better understand genetic context and results in more reliable structural genome analyses. Our expertise comprises:

  • DNA- and RNA-extraction and cloning
  • analysis of transcriptional activity (RNA-sequencing, reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, quantitative Real Time RT-PCR)
  • detection and translation of enzymatic activity (Western Blot, ELISA, 2-D protein gelelectrophorese)
  • methods to discover gene function in planta (overexpression, silencing) using plant transformation

These investigations help us to assess the benefits and potential risks which can be expected by using different gene combination in breeding. We use this knowledge to optimize our breeding programs.