Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Maize genome pilot sequencing project results in six-fold reduction of effective size of maize genome

08.03.2004


Cutting corn down to size


A team of scientists reports a major advance in seqencing large genomes. And they have done their work on the plant that made the Midwest famous - maize, or corn, if you will



A team of scientists that includes a Washington University in St. Louis biologist, has evaluated and validated a gene-enrichment strategy for genome sequencing and has reported a major advance in sequencing large genomes. The team showed a six-fold reduction of the effective size of the Zea mays (maize or corn) genome while creating a four-fold increase in the gene identification rate when compared to standard whole-genome sequencing methods.

A team of scientists reports a major advance in seqencing large genomes. And they have done their work on the plant that made the Midwest famous - maize, or corn, if you will.
The Maize Genomics Consortium reported their results in the December 19, 2003 issue of Science magazine. Karel R. Schubert, Ph.D., Washington University affiliate professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, was the principal investigator of the study. Schubert is vice president of technology management and science administration at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis.



The Maize Genomics Consortium, consisting of The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, The Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR), Purdue University, and Orion Genomics, was awarded a two-year, $6 million plant genome grant on September 20, 2002 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop and evaluate high-throughput and robust strategies to isolate and sequence maize genes. The two gene-enrichment methods used in the research published in Science are methyl-filtration and high-Cot selection.

According to Schubert and W. Brad Barbazuk, Ph.D., senior bioinformatics specialist and assistant domain member, both at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the overall goal of the pilot sequencing project in maize is to derive an effective strategy to sequence the maize genome. To meet this goal, the Maize Genomics Consortium will generate approximately 800,000 total sequence reads using the methyl-filtration and high-Cot methods, with the results published in Science describing the analysis of the first 200,000 sequence reads.

It is a challenging effort to sequence the maize genome, as its size and structure preclude using the standard whole-genome methods for sequence analysis and alignment. At about 2 to 3 billion base pairs, the maize genome is estimated to be 20 times larger than Arabidopsis, an experimental plant that is the first plant genome to be completely sequenced. However, maize probably has only twice as many genes as Arabidopsis. The rest of the maize genome is made up of a large amount of highly repetitive DNA including many mobile DNA elements. Unlike Arabidopsis genes, the maize genes are not spaced evenly throughout the genome but instead are clustered in "islands" floating in a large "sea" of repeat-sequence DNA.

To sequence these "islands", the Maize Consortium used two methods for gene-enrichment, methyl-filtration and high-Cot selection. The methyl-filtration method was developed at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in Long Island, New York, and has been exclusively licensed to St. Louis-based Orion Genomics. It is based on the finding that highly repetitive DNA is modified (methylated) while genes are largely free of such modification. The well-established high-Cot selection method was applied at Purdue University and exploits the fact that gene sequences are in relatively low abundance compared with the large amount of repeated non-genic sequences. These methods target overlapping, but non-identical fractions of the genome that are highly enriched for genes sequences.

Washington University in St. Louis is part of the alliance that makes The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. The Center is a not-for-profit research institution that was founded in 1998 as the product of a unique and innovative alliance joining the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Monsanto Company, Purdue University, and Washington University in St. Louis. The mission of the Danforth Center is to increase understanding of basic plant biology; to apply new knowledge for the benefit of human nutrition and health and to improve the sustainability of agriculture worldwide; to facilitate the rapid development and commercialization of promising technologies and products; and to contribute to the education and training of graduate and postdoctoral students, scientists, and technicians from around the world. Please visit www.danforthcenter.org for additional information.

Tony Fitzpatrick | WUSTL
Further information:
http://news-info.wustl.edu/tips/page/normal/697.html

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Monitoring biodiversity with sound: how machines can enrich our knowledge
18.06.2019 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

nachricht Uncovering hidden protein structures
18.06.2019 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

Im Focus: Tiny light box opens new doors into the nanoworld

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.

Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Uncovering hidden protein structures

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Monitoring biodiversity with sound: how machines can enrich our knowledge

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

Schizophrenia: Adolescence is the game-changer

18.06.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>