DArT Project

callus_vs_seedlingroot

callus v. seedling root

callus_vs_imm_embryo

callus v. immature embryo

DArT, or diversity arrays technology, enables researchers to analyze plant and animal genomes with no prior DNA sequence knowledge of the organism(s) being investigated. Useful traits in agricultural plants and animals are genetically determined. For most crops, genetic improvement in the last fifty or more years has delivered gains in productivity and improvement in product quality. Much breeding has relied on phenotypic evaluation of individuals and families, with little knowledge of the fundamental genetic changes being incorporated. Genetic fingerprints (genotype) for any individual organism can now be determined by a variety of methods, and the relationship between the genotype and the phenotypic value of the individual can be established. Efficient genotyping technologies are going to play an increasing role in future breeding. However, widespread use of current genotyping technologies is limited by intellectual property constraints, process variation, and high cost per marker.

Current technologies to determine genetic fingerprints have other limitations. Full genome coverage requires the identification of a large number of polymorphic markers. With most current technologies this is a step by step approach that is labor intensive and plagued by process variation. Yes, complete genome sequencing is being done for certain large-market and model crops, including rice, but not for many small market crops and species important in conservation. Even once markers are identified, the cost of scoring most markers (“genotyping”) is high and process variation is again a concern. We believe that it should be possible to use high throughput genotyping to characterise many loci for their linkage to useful traits, information on genetic diversity, and tools to recombine that diversity productively. To remove some of these limitations, and to make genotyping efficient and affordable even for conservation purposes and crops where limited resources are available, Diversity Arrays™ Technology was developed at CAMBIA. For throughput and reproducibility it compares favorably with similar technologies. DArT was initially used to detect a large number of genetic differences between varieties of rice and wheat (see publications section), but the technology is expected to be applicable to nearly all plant and animal species.

What is available in this project?

How do I access/use/obtain this technology?

The patented technology is being maintained available for non-exclusive licensing to any entity. For more information about these agreements, e-mail us. A complete (or “genome-wide”) genetic fingerprint of an individual can be useful in the following ways, among others:

  • Unambiguous identification of the individual, and degree of relatedness to other individuals (e.g. pedigree information)
  • Identification of genomic regions linked to phenotypic traits of interest (association studies, QTL studies)
  • Fine mapping of specific genes, as a first step towards gene isolation
  • Acceleration of breeding programs by screening progenies on the basis of genotype
  • Evaluation of genetic diversity in the available germplasm
  • Creation of novel varieties by facilitating the efficient combination between distant germplasm

Please enter the DArT Technology Forum to learn more or contribute to the exploration of this technology.