Implementation of two high through-put techniques in a novel application: detecting point mutations in large EMS mutated plant populations

A.L.F. Gady, F.W.K. Hermans, M.H.B.J. van de Wal, E.N. van Loo, R.G.F. Visser, C.W.B. Bachem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Background - The establishment of mutant populations together with the strategies for targeted mutation detection has been applied successfully to a large number of organisms including many species in the plant kingdom. Considerable efforts have been invested into research on tomato as a model for berry-fruit plants. With the progress of the tomato sequencing project, reverse genetics becomes an obvious and achievable goal. Results - Here we describe the treatment of Solanum lycopersicum seeds with 1% EMS and the development of a new mutated tomato population. To increase targeted mutant detection throughput an automated seed DNA extraction has been combined with novel mutation detection platforms for TILLING in plants. We have adapted two techniques used in human genetic diagnostics: Conformation Sensitive Capillary Electrophoresis (CSCE) and High Resolution DNA Melting Analysis (HRM) to mutation screening in DNA pools. Classical TILLING involves critical and time consuming steps such as endonuclease digestion reactions and gel electrophoresis runs. Using CSCE or HRM, the only step required is a simple PCR before either capillary electrophoresis or DNA melting curve analysis. Here we describe the development of a mutant tomato population, the setting up of two polymorphism detection platforms for plants and the results of the first screens as mutation density in the populations and estimation of the false-positives rate when using HRM to screen DNA pools. Conclusion - These results demonstrate that CSCE and HRM are fast, affordable and sensitive techniques for mutation detection in DNA pools and therefore allow the rapid identification of new allelic variants in a mutant population. Results from the first screens indicate that the mutagen treatment has been effective with an average mutation detection rate per diploid genome of 1.36 mutation/kb/1000 lines
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Methods
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • sensitive capillary-electrophoresis
  • chemically-induced mutations
  • resolution melting analysis
  • arabidopsis-thaliana
  • gene mutation
  • in-silico
  • discovery
  • tomato
  • zebrafish
  • disease


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