REVERSE-GENETICS BY TILLING EXPANDS THROUGH THEPLANT KINGDOM
Keywords:Mutation breeding, mutation discovery, mutation induction, reverse-genetics, TILLING
There is a rich history of using induced mutations to deduce the in vivo function of genes and to develop crops with superior traits. The reverse-genetics strategy known as TILLING (Targeting Induced Local Lesions IN Genomes) was created to harness the power of induced mutations to target and recover lesions in specific genes. TILLING combines traditional mutagenesis strategies that have been in use since the early part of the 20th century with highthroughput discovery methods that are continuously being developed and improved upon. Because mutation induction and mutation discovery are not species-specific, TILLING is a general method that can be applied to most organisms. Since its first description in 2000, TILLING has been applied to over 20 plant species. We review here progress in the development and adaptation of TILLING for different plant species, describe the companion technology, Ecotilling, for discovery of natural nucleotide polymorphisms, and discuss future directions for reverse-genetics using induced mutations.