Fast-forward genetics and new biology

We know how glucosinolates are synthesized and we know their major regulators. We also know that glucosinolates control plant fitness in the wild and agronomic value in the field. Our recent work has begun to expand beyond this and show that glucosinolate metabolism controls fundamental physiological processes such as circadian clock and flowering time. This has taught us that there are more elements and levels to biology than what we currently know.

Forward genetics is a powerful approach to study systems where there is no prior expectation to what gene is the cause of the phenotype. Next-generation sequencing tools have made it possible to rapidly identify the mutated gene in any mutant allowing for forward genetics to become nearly as fast as reverse genetics and once again open up the ability to investigate new biological connectivity and phenotypes.

At DynaMo, we use fast-forward genetics to find the genes and mechanisms underlying these new observations. Through the rapid isolation of these genes we are working to understand these unexpected phenomena observed in the glucosinolate-Arabidopsis system and begin identifying new levels of interconnectivity that underpin how a complete biological system is constructed.

Contact person

Alexander Schulz

Daniel Kliebenstein
UC Davis