Dr. Wolfgang Lein
The sequencing of full genomes has revealed that we know little or nothing about the function of the majority of genes that they contain. Therefore, efficient large-scale functional assignment of expressed sequences is crucial for a better understanding of the organisms.
Since the creation of loss of function mutants is a powerful tool to investigate genes, the group performed an unbiased high-throughput random post-transcriptional gene silencing approach in tobacco in order to identify genes for which a moderate decrease of expression has drastic impact on plant fitness. Identification and analysis of such essential genes promises to provide fundamental insight into plant development, metabolism and adaption to the environment.