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What is TILLING?

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Tilling-Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomics

It is a reverse genetic techniques based on the use of mismatch specific enzyme that identifies mutations in a target gene through heteroduplex analysis. It is a general strategy that is used to locate an allelic series of induced point mutations in genes of interest.



TILLING has established itself as powerful tool for functional genomics and reverse genetics. This is a high throughout methodology of a high molecular reverse genetics technique and mutation induction, allowing for the mining of new alleles in a known locus and can be performed at a very early stage. The end product of TILLING process is a plant that has been identified with a change in specific gene of interest. The plant line is then useful for determining the overall effect of that gene on the characteristic of the plant. The tilled population can be produced and then screened as mutant allele in specific gene.

How Tilling Works?



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  • The technique can be applied not only to the model organisms (Zebrafish, Arabidopsis thaliana) but also to economically important organisms in plants.
  • High throughout Tilling allows rapid and cost effective detection of induced point mutations in populations of chemically mutagenised individuals.
  • Tilling provides a powerful approach for gene discovery, DNA polymorphic assessment and plant improvement.
  • Tilling and ecotilling can be used as haplotyping tool in plant breeding for identifying allelic variation in genes exhibiting expression correlating with phenotypes and establishing an allelic series at genetic loci for the traits of interest in germ plasm or induced mutants.

For More Tilling


Deborah L. Osae-Oppong from Chicago, IL on February 25, 2013:

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I didn't know this! I did my senior undergraduate research on Canine parvovirus and it's ability to mutate, using heteroduplex analysis. Thanks for sharing!

ammy on January 24, 2013:

very useful

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