Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First Draft Of Transgenic Papaya Genome Yields Many Fruits

24.04.2008
A broad collaboration of research institutions in the U.S. and China has produced a first draft of the papaya genome.

This draft, which spells out more than 90 percent of the plant’s gene coding sequence, sheds new light on the evolution of flowering plants. And because it involves a genetically modified plant, the newly sequenced papaya genome offers the most detailed picture yet of the genetic changes that make the plant resistant to the papaya ringspot virus.

The findings appear today (April 23) as the cover article in the journal Nature.

Papaya is now the fifth angiosperm (flowering plant) for which detailed genome information is available. The others are Arabidopsis (a well-studied member of the mustard family that includes species such as cabbage and radish), rice, poplar and grape.

... more about:
»Arabidopsis »Genome »Ming »enzyme »papaya »transgenic

“One of the implications of this study is, on a larger scale, to understand the genome evolution of angiosperms,” said Ray Ming, a University of Illinois professor of plant biology and co-lead author on the study.

The new findings indicate that the papaya genome took a different evolutionary path after its divergence from that of Arabidopsis about 72 million years ago, Ming said. Arabidopsis underwent two duplications of its entire genome in its recent evolutionary past, he said. These duplications, called alpha and beta, are not shared by papaya or grape. A much earlier triplication of the genome, called gamma, that is estimated to have occurred some 120 million years ago, is shared by all four eudicot plants – Arabidopsis, poplar, grape and papaya – for which genome sequences are available.

Papaya is one of the most nutritious fruits known. Its melon-like flesh is high in provitamin A, vitamin C, flavonoids, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium and fiber.

The papaya plant also produces papain, a digestive enzyme that is used in brewing, meat tenderizing, and in some cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. Today it is cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Global trade in papaya averaged $113 million in 1998-2003.

The new analysis revealed that papaya has fewer functional genes than any other flowering plant for which genome sequence is available. Its allotment of genes for key enzymes also differs significantly from its counterparts. Papaya contains more genes for enzymes involved in cell-wall expansion and starch production than Arabidopsis does. Papaya also contains more genes for volatile compounds, the odors that attract pollinators and animals that eat the fruit and disperse its seeds.

The number of genes dedicated to lignin synthesis in papaya is intermediate between that of poplar, which contains more such genes, and Arabidopsis, which has fewer. This makes sense, Ming said, because papaya is evolving from an herbaceous plant into a woody tree.

Papaya was introduced to Hawaii in the 1800s, and the production of papaya in Hawaii grew into a major industry. That industry faced a crisis in 1992, however, when the papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) was first identified in Puna, the center of Hawaiian papaya production.

PRSV affects papaya production throughout the world. The virus interferes with the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. Affected plants are stunted and often produce deformed and inedible fruit. Papaya production in Hawaii dropped from 55.8 million pounds to 35.6 million pounds between 1992 and 1998 as a result of the virus.

Using a technique developed in 1986 that involved randomly inserting a viral coat protein gene into a plant to give the plant immunity to the virus, in the early 1990s scientists at Cornell and the University of Hawaii (led by Dennis Gonsalves, who is now director of the USDA’s U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center) developed a transgenic papaya that was resistant to PRSV. The new study has found that the transgenic insertions occurred in only three places in the papaya genome, and that no nuclear genes were disrupted.

Having detailed information about the location of insertions in the transgenic papaya plants will aid the deregulation process in places such as Japan, where so far import of transgenic papaya plants is not allowed.

The papaya genome project involved researchers at 22 institutions, led by Maqsudul Alam at the University of Hawaii. A majority of the funding was provided by the University of Hawaii, the Department of Defense, the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center and Nakai University, China.

Ray Ming is an affiliate of the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center and the U. of I. Institute for Genomic Biology.

Diana Yates | University of Illinois
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

Further reports about: Arabidopsis Genome Ming enzyme papaya transgenic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How protein islands form
15.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>