Laboratory of Isozyme Analysis

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Laboratory of Isozyme Analysis (LIA) in Institute of Botany was founded by M. Tichý and L. Kirschnerová in 1985, and since 2003 it is housed in Lab Centre at Chotobuz, Průhonice, Czech Republic. It is one the few laboratories dealing with the analysis of isozymes in the Czech Republic.

The principle of isozyme analysis might be summarized as using specific, sensitive histochemical reactions to detect position of products of low copy genes (enzymes) on a polyacrylamide gel after electrophoresis. The differential electrophoretic mobility of enzymes makes it possible to visualize the enzymes on gels as specific bands corresponding usually to allelic products.

Although biologists have a wide range of other molecular approaches, isozyme analysis is very useful and appropriate in three fields of research. First, and most importantly, it is the cheapest and one of the most instant methods in the population genetic analysis, readily revealing the distribution of genetic variation among and within populations. The method easily reveals and quantifies population phenomena such as autogamy, polyploidy, readily discerning between autoploidy and alloploidy, vegetative clonality, agamospermy, linkage groups, hybridity and other forms of gene flow, fixed heterozygosity, and a number of other situations characterized by departures from Hardy-Weinberg equlibria.

Another type of research benefiting from isozyme study is the analysis of Mendelistic inheritance in progenies of artificial hybrids, widely used in plant breeding or analyses of reproduction systems. This type of exploitation is also associated with clone, cultivar or hybrid identification. The third research field with isozyme analysis is that of enzymology and proteomics, with preparatory electrophoresis and sequencing of enzymes (identification of metabolic and other gene sequences for various purposes).

Last, as isozymes are considered as adaptive markers, they are very useful for the conservation studies involving phenomena like fitness, paleoploidy, recent or old bottlenecks etc.

All this is possible because of the positive features of isozyme research: isozymes are codominant, easy to interpret even as qualitative markers, the method is non-destructive and fast to get results. Most importantly, isozymes are universal, which makes them an essential approach for basic and preliminary genetic variation screening (as compared with the widely used microsatellites).

Ing. Ivana Plačková

Phone: +420 271015461, 370