Ong Ai Ling
Biotechnology & Breeding Department
Sime Darby Technology Centre SDN BHD
Ai Ling holds the position of Senior Scientist at the R&D department under Sime Darby Plantation. She’s actively involved in research areas related oil palm genetics and breeding for more than 5 years. Ai Ling received her BSc. in Bioinformatics from the University of Malaya and then she pursued her studies in MSc. in Bioinformatics from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Her research interest is biological data analytics, focused on genome informatics and quantitative genetics. Ai Ling recently contributed 3 book chapters in ‘Bioinformatics: A Practical Handbook of Next Generation Sequencing and Its Applications’ by World Scientific and published several research papers related to oil palm genetics study.
Tutorial Title: Applications of Bioinformatics in Agriculture Research
Rapid technological development in DNA sequencing has enabled the scientific community to sequence more than 65,000 organisms (as January 2016) since the first genome of Bacteriophage MS2 was announced in 1976. The next question is how massive sequence data will benefit us. To address that, this tutorial will discuss and illustrate some applications using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data to unveil the underlying biological mechanisms for a phenotype of interest, which is crucial in pharmacogenetics, agriculture and livestock research.
The genetic polymorphisms in populations become important when mutated regions in the organism’s DNA sequence (genome) are discovered to be influencing their phenotypic changes. To facilitate such discoveries, a reference genome sequence that links DNA (genetic) markers to validated gene models, transcripts, proteins and other physical genomic features is required. With a good reference genome as a map, we can move on to locate the regions that are associated to the phenotypes of interest. In summary, the aim of the tutorial is to demonstrate the usage of bioinformatics tools to assist in plant breeding. The content of the tutorial will emphasize on the classical linkage mapping, and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). The aim is to provide some basic understanding of how to convert NGS data to valuable genetic information. With the combination of knowledge in statistical genetics and data science, bioinformatics is playing a pivotal role in biotechnology, currently and in the future