Comparative Genomics


The transfer of alien chromatin containing the genetic information for a desirable trait depends on hom(e)ologous recombination between the donor chromosome and its corresponding acceptor chromosome, which, amongst other factors, is determined by their level of colinearity. A difference in chromosome colinearity has a direct effect on chromosome pairing at meiosis and determines the rate and amount of chromatin transfer into a recipient crop, and hence determines the success of introgression breeding. To facilitate identification of compatible donor species or genotypes for error-free homeologous introgression of important agronomic traits such as (a)biotic stress tolerance, elucidating the genome organization is imperative. This is usually accomplished by analysing colinearity,synteny and linkage at both the chromosome and gene level. Of special interest therefore is a detailed analysis of chromosome topology and structural rearrangements for regions containing genes underlying economically important traits such as stress tolerance and disease resistance.