Completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 heralded a new era of biological research, using newly developed technologies to study the function of living organisms' DNA at a genome-wide level. At the same time, steadily increasing food prices and the challenge of climate change have produced a pressing need to utilize these technologies to support agriculture and accelerate crop improvement.
The Genome Technologies laboratory at Sabanci University is focused on understanding the biotic and abiotic stress response mechanisms and identification of related genes involved in herbicide resistance for cultivated wheat, its wild relatives, and model grass species such as Brachypodium distachyon. Chromosome- and genome-scale sequencing, along with high-throughput analysis of expression, form a basis for identification of novel protein-coding genes and microRNAs involved in these processes. Molecular biology techniques are used to further study sequences of interest, encompassing both their primary function and regulation of their expression. Gene transmission and silencing and biodiversity in plants are also investigated using DNA-RNA fingerprinting and comparative genome analysis. Furthermore, application of these findings to Turkish and international wheat cultivars is carried out both using traditional breeding methods in the greenhouse, and using genetic transformation systems in the laboratory.
Basic molecular biology equipment such as analytical balances, microcentrifuges, high-speed and ultracentrifuges, incubators and shakers, PCR machines, spectrophotometers, electroporator, Real Time PCR, horizontal and vertical electrophoresis systems, gel documentation system, hybridization oven, and biological safety cabinets are used in the Genome Technologies lab within the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, along with specialized equipment for plant molecular biology and genetics such as an AFLP analyzer, and Biolistic Particle Delivery System. Additionally, a 454 GS FLX Genome Sequencer, DNA Microarray Hybridization and Scanning systems are available and are used in our studies.Further Information