Activation Tagging as a Powerful Tool for Gene Discovery in Poplar
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Our understanding of tree growth and development has increased substantially in the last few decades and is expected to increase much more as we fully exploit newly developed genomic tools. A major milestone in tree genomics was the sequencing of the entire genome of Populus trichocarpa, and the realization that we understand the function of very few of the 45,000 predicted genes in this genome. To advance our knowledge of gene function in Populus, we have created the largest population of mutant poplars to date which will enable us to link altered phenotypes with genes that are responsible. This thesis describes this mutant population, provides preliminary results on the complexity of mutants identified and examines one distinct mutant called shriveled leaf. These results clearly demonstrate the power of this population for gene function analysis and reveal that this population will be a valuable genomic resource for tree biotechnology for many years to come.