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Gel Analysis

With the development of the international trade and agricultural science and technology, especially after the
execution of the rules on protection of new plant varieties, considerable emphasis has been placed on variety
identification such as protein identification. Many evidences have suggested that protein gel electrophoresis
technology plays an important role in identification of crop varieties. This paper reviewed study status of various
gel electrophoresis technology, including development of the methods, comparison of these techniques, influence
factors, practical applications, achievements obtained and trends in the future study. With the wider range on
protection of new plant varieties in China, electrophoresis technology will play a more important role in variety
identification.

Variety identification is an important method for agricultural production, crop breeding and seed testing as
well as for new variety protection. In recent years, great economic losses have been caused to the country and
farmers due to the mixture of purity and quality of varieties. The traditional identification of varieties usually
adopts the morphological identification method. When the crops grow to a certain stage and all the traits are fully
expressed, a large number of morphological traits are investigated to identify different varieties. However, in
modern breeding techniques, new varieties are mostly bred by parental hybridization of some excellent varieties
with limited quantity, genetic variation among new varieties is increasingly narrow, morphological differences
between varieties are increasingly small, and the insufficient morphological characters available for variety
identification increase the difficulty of variety identification. In addition, the morphological identification method
usually requires two to three growth cycles with long time and high cost. So scientists around the world began to
find new ways. In recent years, various techniques for the detection of protein and DNA polymorphism have been
developed rapidly. However, electrophoresis has been widely used in the identification of varieties due to its
advantages of small seed quantity, short time, good result stability, high repeatability, simple technology and low
cost.

Proteomics is the frontier in the fields of biochemistry and life science. Bidirectional gel electrophoresis, as
the core of proteome analysis, plays a crucial role. Two-dimensional gel electrophoresis technology is based on
different proteins isoelectric point and molecular weight to separate thousands of proteins at the same time, the
protein complex mixture of proteins in the two-dimensional plane separately, the final result visualization got the
scanning two-dimensional gel electrophoresis image, in this image, the protein is portrayed as different shape,
different size and different point of gray. Because protein point data quantity, based on computer protein gel image
analysis is one of the important steps, proteomic analysis mainly includes image preprocessing (noise removing,
the background correction etc.), and quantitative protein detection, gel matching steps, such as it is the purpose of
the accurate detection and quantitative protein point features, for the next step of drug research and development,
disease diagnosis and environmental testing provides data base. Among them, the distortion correction of gel
image is the key step of image preprocessing. In the process of gel image acquisition, due to the different structure
of protein samples, such as in different salt concentrations, the migration situation of the protein will be affected,
and the same protein point may appear in different positions on different gel images, which is called "distortion".
Even repeated analysis of a particular sample may distort the image of the gel due to its local stretch. Due to the
defects of gel electrophoresis technology, the problem of gel image distortion always exists. In order to improve
the accuracy of gel image matching and the analysis result of gel image, the distortion of the image must be
corrected. At present, the deformation algorithm of two-dimensional gel electrophoresis image can be realized by
the method based on protein point or pixel. Meanwhile, this method is quite helpful to protein sequencing and
antibody sequencing.