Postgraduate Profiles

Armin Patrick Scheben

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Thesis: Evaluating genotyping by sequencing approaches for Brassica napus breeding

Genotyping by sequencing (GBS) has revolutionised crop genotyping, providing powerful tools for rapid, high-throughput identification of genetic variation underlying agronomic traits. The GBS platforms driving the recent advances in genotyping are low-coverage whole genome resequencing (skim sequencing) and reduced representation sequencing (RRS) approaches. These platforms differ in several ways, including the type and volume of data produced, methodical biases and cost. However, empirical comparisons of GBS platforms are rare, making it difficult for plant breeders and researchers to select the platform best-suited to their goals. I report on the application of restriction enzyme associated DNA (RAD) sequencing, double digest RAD sequencing and skim sequencing to the oilseed crop Brassica napus to provide an applied assessment of these platforms. To enable researchers and breeders to choose the right approach for the right application, we evaluate the three GBS platforms in terms of their implementation for linkage analysis, QTL mapping, marker-assisted selection, association studies, candidate gene analysis for genome editing, and genome assembly improvement. We hope that the evaluation of GBS platforms will enhance the use of GBS and facilitate crop improvement in B. napus.

Why my research is important

The global population is expected to rise from 7.3 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050. Improved crops are thus urgently needed to meet growing demand for food and to address changing climatic conditions. High-throughput genotyping is essential for modern crop breeding, and is the starting point for cutting-edge genome editing approaches for crop improvement.