Chemical genetics is increasingly being employed to decode traits in plants that may be recalcitrant to traditional genetics due to gene redundancy or lethality. However, the probability of a synthetic small molecule being bioactive is low; therefore, thousands of molecules must be tested in order to find those of interest. Liquid handling robotics systems are designed to handle large numbers of samples, increasing the speed with which a chemical library can be screened in addition to minimizing/standardizing error. To achieve a high-throughput forward chemical genetics screen of a library of 50,000 small molecules on Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis), protocols using a bench-top multichannel liquid handling robot were developed that require minimal technician involvement. With these protocols, 3,271 small molecules were discovered that caused visible phenotypic alterations. 1,563 compounds induced short roots, 1,148 compounds altered coloration, 383 compounds caused root hair and other, non-categorized, alterations, and 177 compounds inhibited germination.
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. 1355438.
The video component of this article can be found at https://www.jove.com/video/57393/.
Amos, B. Kirtley; Pook, Victoria G.; and DeBolt, Seth, "Optimizing the Use of a Liquid Handling Robot to Conduct a High Throughput Forward Chemical Genetics Screen of Arabidopsis thaliana" (2018). Horticulture Faculty Publications. 33.