Gina Brown-Guedira, Eastern Regional Small Grains Genotyping Lab, USDA, and North Carolina State University, Raleigh
Assaying a large number of species of wheat with a handful of SNPs useful for identifying genes for traits such as drought-resistance and plant height
Wheat is a polyploid plant, so it has more than two copies of its genetic loci, and different wheat species are highly related to one another. The medium throughput platforms available don't allow Brown-Guedira and other wheat researchers to easily distinguish whether the SNPs they're seeing are sequence variations between different wheat lineages, or variations of the sequence within one wheat line.
Brown-Guedira's group must use homozygous lines of this genome so that they can make sure that the SNPs they're seeing are...