Checkbiotech: First whole-genome microarray for Arabidopsis; model organism used in plant research.
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Agilent Technologies Inc. today announced it has introduced the first
whole-genome oligonucleotide microarray for the study of Arabidopsis
thaliana, the primary model plant used in gene expression research. By
revealing gene activity associated with various biological functions, stages
of growth and response to stress in Arabidopsis, the Arabidopsis 3 oligo
microarray kit allows scientists to understand these processes in common
crop plants such as corn, soybean and cotton. Scientists will use this
knowledge to improve crop yields; enhance the quality of plant fibers, foods
and other materials; and increase plant resistance to disease and drought,
Arabidopsis, a noncommercial member of the mustard family, has become one
of the most popular models in plant research because its life cycle and
response to stress and disease resemble those of many crop plants. It is
easy to grow and widely available, which facilitates large-scale
experiments. The plant also has a relatively small genome that has been
completely sequenced, making it useful in genetic analyses (1).
Agilent's new microarray contains more than 37,000 probes, representing all
Arabidopsis genes of known function and related genes of interest. The
content includes probes for approximately 26,000 annotated transcripts from
the ATH1v5 database of The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR).
Annotations are descriptions of gene function linking gene expression
patterns with the biology of the plant, and are critical to interpreting the
results of gene expression experiments. The microarray also covers more than
10,000 unannotated transcripts from the Massively Parallel Signature
Sequencing (MPSS) database of the University of Delaware and 1,000 ncRNA
(small non-protein coding) transcripts derived from the ATH1 genome.
"Our new Arabidopsis microarray provides a major leap in content coverage
over current competitive products," said Mel Kronick, chief scientist of
Agilent's Integrated Biology Solutions unit. "In addition to covering all
known protein coding transcripts of the Arabidopsis genome, it is also the
first to provide probes for unannotated genomic regions, which include
suspected transcription control factors of great interest to researchers
studying plant transcriptional processes."
Agilent uses a flexible inkjet manufacturing process to synthesize its
probes directly on glass slides to a length of 60 oligonucleotides. This
process produces microarrays with the highest sensitivity available, five to
eight times more sensitive than 25 mer oligo microarrays, allowing for
better detection of low-expressing or rare genes. It also enables Agilent to
iterate its microarray design files quickly to keep pace with the latest
changes in genome content.
Based on the industry-standard 1" x 3" glass-slide format, Agilent's whole
genome oligo microarrays can be read on most commercial microarray scanners.
Agilent's open-platform enables scientists to easily migrate from their
lab-made "home brew" microarrays to high-quality commercial microarrays with
the lowest startup costs.
Researchers can take best advantage of the increased genome content coverage
and high sensitivity by using Agilent's high-performance DNA microarray
scanner and feature extraction software. Agilent also provides a complete
line of labeling and hybridization reagents, chambers and accessories that
maximize the ease of use and performance of Agilent microarrays.
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in
communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The
company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries.
Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003.
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