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Advanced Genetic Technologies, KY
Department of Plant Pathology
Agricultural productivity depends on the genetic potential of the crops and livestock, and their interactions with the agro-ecosystem. The project aims are to enhance techniques of genetic analysis, and through such techniques, to increase understanding of plant and animal genomics, the genomics of microbial pathogens and symbionts of plants and animals, and the composition of bacterial consortia in the soil.
2009 Project Description
The aim of this proposal was to bring to the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture the capabilities for, and a strong track record in, modern high-throughput genetic technologies, and to enhance prospects to leverage nationally competitive extramural grant support in these important areas of agricultural research. The capacity of the University of Kentucky Advanced Genetic Technologies Center was increased by 50% with the installation of a 48-capillary electrophoresis unit for DNA sequence analysis, and a liquid handling robot. Four pilot projects were conducted to study plant and microbial genome structure and expression. Pilot projects led to major grants in ecological genomics ($2.3 million over 5 years) and phylogenomics ($1.4 million over 5 years). Numerous new DNA sequencing projects were initiated, as well as a DNA fragment analysis project. Fourteen undergraduate interns were introduced to genomic and high-throughput genetic technologies, two of whom received the prestigious Beckman scholarships for their work.
Agricultural productivity depends on the genetic potential of the crops and livestock, and their interactions with the agro-ecosystem. The results of this project have enhanced techniques of genetic analysis, and through such techniques, increased understanding of plant genes, fungal symbionts of plants, bacterial pathogens of livestock, and bacterial consortia in the soil environment. The increased capacity and capabilities of the facility now make feasible genome sequencing for numerous microorganisms that are pathogenic or symbiotic with agricultural plants and livestock, and also will allow metagenomic studies of agricultural and sensitive environments. The data obtained in pilot projects are being used to leverage major competitive grants.