Genetic Screens for Floral Mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana: Enhancers and Suppressors

Dinh TT, Luscher E, Li S, Liu X, Won SY, Chen X

The flower is a hallmark feature that has contributed to the evolutionary success of land plants. Diverse mutagenic agents have been employed as a tool to genetically perturb flower development and identify genes involved in floral patterning and morphogenesis. Since the initial studies to identify genes governing processes such as floral organ specification, mutagenesis in sensitized backgrounds has been used to isolate enhancers and suppressors to further probe the molecular basis of floral development. Here, we first describe two commonly employed methods for mutagenesis (using ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) or T-DNAs as mutagens), and then describe three methods for identifying a mutation that leads to phenotypic alterations—traditional map-based cloning, TAIL-PCR, and deep sequencing in the plant model Arabidopsis thaliana.

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