Research in my laboratory has centred around studying meiosis in plants using Arabidopsis as a model. We have identified and characterized genes that control key aspects of chromosome organization during meiosis: centromere configuration and cohesion, recombination, synapsis, and progression through the meiotic cell cycle. Information that has emerged form our work has provided leads with respect to molecular strategies for developing new methods of plant breeding that would lead to fixation of hybrid vigour in successive generations by a process called apomixis. Apomixis which occurs naturally in some plants, is the formation of asexual seeds bypassing meiotic chromosome reduction and fertilization of the egg cell so that the genotype of an apomictic embryo is identical to that of the parental plant. The possibility of harnessing apomixis for fixation of hybrid vigour and as a tool for plant breeding has important implications for agriculture.
Siddiqi, I., Marimuthu, M.P.A., and M. Ravi, 2009. Towards molecular approaches for fixation of hybrid vigour in plants. Biotechnol. Journal, 4: 342-347. (minireview).
Ravi, M., Marimuthu, M.P.A., and I. Siddiqi, 2008. Gamete formation without meiosis in Arabidopsis. Nature, 451: 1121-1124.
Kaur, J., Sebastian, J., and I. Siddiqi, 2006. The Arabidopsis-mei2-Like Genes Play a Role in Meiosis and Vegetative Growth in Arabidopsis. The Plant Cell, 18: 545-559.
Reddy, T.V., J.Kaur, B. Agashe, V. Sundaresan, and I. Siddiqi, 2003. The DUET gene is necessary for chromosome organization and progression during male meiosis in Arabidopsis and encodes a PHD finger protein. Development, 130: 5975-5987.
Agashe, B., C.K. Prasad, and I. Siddiqi, 2002. Identification and analysis of DYAD: a gene required for meiotic chromosome organization and female meiotic progression in Arabidopsis. Development, 129: 3935-3943.
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