Researchers at The Ohio State University (OSU) have developed a petunia DNA microarray to help identify genes controlling senescence in petunias. The microarray is a glass microscope slide spotted with petunia genes at a very high density rate. Molecular biologists use microarrays for gene discovery and other crop improvement experiments.
The microarray was developed by Dr. Anthony Stead of the University of London in the lab of Dr. Michelle Jones as part of the D.C. Kiplinger Chair in Floriculture research program in the Horticulture & Crop Science Department at OSU.
Stead and Jones’ research project examined flower senescence in petunias and daylilies. Their research helps provide a basic understanding of the molecular regulation of flower development by identifying the genes that control plant senescence.
By developing the microarray, researchers can investigate thousands of genes in a particular tissue at a given developmental stage or following specific treatment to determine what metabolic processes are occurring in a plant. Jones said the petunia was selected because it is a model system for basic floriculture research.
The D.C. Kiplinger Petunia Microarray has 4,500 unique genes from petunia leaves and flowers. The initial experiments using the microarray were conducted to identify the genes specifically involved in regulating flower senescence. The microarray could also be used to investigate such traits as floral scent, drought tolerance, flower initiation or seed germination.
To read a full article on the development of the Kiplinger petunia microarray, go to http://hcs.osu.edu/news/ .