DNA Day experts answer your questions about nucleotides

CurioCity
29 April 2014

Above: Image © Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

The wobble hypothesis says that not all of the nucleotides are important all the time. Which of the nucleotides in a codon is the most important when coding for amino acids?

If you have a look at the genetic code (http://tinyurl.com/p25lmgj) you'll notice that it is generally the third nucleotide in the codon that is "wobbly". So the most important bases for the codon are numbers 1 and 2.

- Answer provided by Dr. Sean Myles

How much is the Human Genome microchip decoder used by doctors at this point? How accurate is the microchip that can decode an individual's genome?

I am not sure I know what you mean by microchip decoder? But right now we use Next generation DNA sequencing method to determine an individual's genome. This is very accurate through most of the entire genome, although there are repetitive regions and certain types of variation that are harder to determine using these methods. In fact I have had my whole genome sequenced!

- Answer provided by Dr. Dennis McCormac

Is disease resistance the major focus of your research or what are you hoping to improve in the apples? Also, what are the genomic techniques you are using to better predict phenotype?

Disease resistance will be a major focus because apples and other fruit are sprayed a lot compared to many other crops. Our goal is to eventually produce apples that require less chemical input to grow. But we're looking at other traits as well, like firmness, acidity, sweetness, colour, shape, size, etc... We hope to eventually have whole genome sequences for all of our apples and we'll use genome-wide association and genomic selection to predict phenotypes.

- Answer provided by Dr. Sean Myles

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