Domesticating these as crops requires a deep understanding of the physiology and genetics of trees, and scientists are turning to long-domesticated fruit trees for hints. The relationship between a peach and a poplar may not be obvious at first glance, but to botanists both trees are part of the rosid superfamily, which includes not only fruit crops like apples, strawberries, cherries, and almonds, but many other plants as well, including rose that gives the superfamily its name.
"The close relationship between peach and poplar trees is evident from their DNA sequence," said Jeremy Schmutz, head of the Plant Program at the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI).
In the March 24 edition of Nature Genetics, Schmutz and several colleagues were part of the International Peach Genome Initiative (IPGI) that published the 265-million base genome of the Lovell variety of Prunus persica.
"Using comparative genomics approaches, characterization of the peach sequence can be exploited not only for the improvement and sustainability of peach and other important tree species, but also to enhance our understanding of the basic biology of trees," the team wrote. They compared 141 peach gene families to those of six other fully sequenced diverse plant species to unravel unique metabolic pathways, for instance, those that lead to lignin biosynthesis—the molecular "glue" that holds the plant cells together—and a key barrier to deconstructing biomass into fuels.
For bioenergy researchers, the size of the peach genome makes it ideal to serve as a plant model for studying genes found in related genomes, such as poplar, one of the DOE JGI's Plant Flagship Genomes (http://bit.ly/JGI-Plants), and develop methods for improving plant biomass yield for biofuels.
"One gene we're interested in is the so-called "evergreen" locus in peaches, which extends the growing season," said Daniel Rokhsar, DOE JGI Eukaryotic Program head under whose leadership sequencing of the peach genome began back in 2007. "In theory, it could be manipulated in poplar to increase the accumulation of biomass."
The publication comes three years after the International Peach Genome Consortium publicly released the draft assembly of the annotated peach genome on the DOE JGI Plant portal Phytozome.net and on other websites. The decision to sequence the peach genome was first announced during the 2007 Plant and Animal Genome XI Conference. Learn more about poplar and DOE JGI Plant Flagship Genomes at http://genome.jgi.doe.gov/programs/plants/flagship_genomes.jsf.
In the United States, the Initiative was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and led by researchers at the DOE JGI, The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Clemson University, North Carolina State University, and Washington State University. Additional support was contributed by U.S. Department of Agriculture and by the Energy Biosciences Institute, of the University of California, Berkeley, who supported senior author Therese Mitros. The Italian government also supported this international effort, including the work of first author Ignazio Verde of the Fruit Tree Research Centre/Agricultural Research Council in Rome, Italy. Contributions were also made from research institutes in Chile, Spain, and France.
The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, supported by the DOE Office of Science, is committed to advancing genomics in support of DOE missions related to clean energy generation and environmental characterization and cleanup. DOE JGI, headquartered in Walnut Creek, Calif., provides integrated high-throughput sequencing and computational analysis that enable systems-based scientific approaches to these challenges. Follow @doe_jgi on Twitter.
DOE's Office of Science is the largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.
David Gilbert | EurekAlert!
Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences