Lahore University of Management Sciences

Dr. Aziz Mithani Publishes his Research in Genome Research

June 08, 2012

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Dr. Aziz Mithani, Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, School of Science and Engineering (SBASSE) LUMS published his research in one of the leading scientific journals, Genome Research. The research was done in conjunction with the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford. The research focused on the effects of ionising radiations on DNA.

Ionising radiation has long been known to induce heritable mutagenic change in DNA sequence. However, the genome-wide effect of radiation is not well understood. In this study the genetic model flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana was exposed to Fast Neutrons (FNs) and the molecular properties and frequency of mutations in phenotypically selected mutant lines were analysed. The study showed a higher frequency of single base substitution than deletion mutations. Whilst the overall frequency and molecular spectrum of FN-induced single base substitutions differed substantially from those of "background" mutations arising spontaneously in laboratory-grown plants, G:C>A:T transitions were favoured in both. 

In addition, it was found that FNs induced more single base than large deletions, and that these single base deletions were possibly caused by replication slippage.

The study provides an initial picture of the genome-wide molecular profile of mutations induced in A. thaliana by FN irradiation, and are particularly informative of the nature and extent of genome-wide mutation in lines selected on the basis of mutant phenotypes from FN-mutagenised A. thaliana populations.

Dr. Mithani has done his DPhil in Computational Biology and postdoctoral research work in Plant Sciences at University of Oxford, UK. His research focuses on genome evolution in plants.