Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
AgriGenomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Loblolly Pine Genome Sequenced

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Last Updated: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Largest genome sequenced to date and the most complete conifer genome sequence ever published.

To look at the humble loblolly pine – grown in neat rows on large farms throughout the southeastern U.S. and milled for things like building lumber and paper – you would never think that its genetic code is seven times larger than a human’s.

That is just one of the things researchers, including two from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the UF Genetics Institute, learned as they sequenced the loblolly pine genome for the first time.  They also discovered genes resistant to a devastating pine forest disease.

It is described in the March issues of GENETICS and the journal Genome Biology.

The tree is the primary source of pulpwood and saw timber for the U.S. forest products industry.

The size and complexity of conifer genomes has, until now, prevented full genome sequencing. To sequence a genome, it must first be broken down into smaller, more manageable data pieces in order for computer programs to handle them.  The pieces are then assembled and annotated – or described – as scientists look at each stretch of base pairs to see which genes are present, where they are on the genome and what they do.  Different genes control different traits or characteristics in the living organism. The loblolly pine genome has 22 billion base pairs, while the human genome has 3 billion.

“It’s a huge genome. But the challenge isn’t just collecting all the sequence data. The problem is assembling that sequence into order,” said David Neale, a professor of plant sciences at the University of California, Davis, who led the project.

John M. Davis, professor and associate director of the UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation, and Katherine Smith, a biological science technician with the USDA Forest Service’s Southern Institute of Forest Genetics, took the lead in annotating the genes in a portion of the genome.  They were looking for genes controlling resistance to fusiform rust, a disease that infects southern pines and renders them unfit for wood products. What they found was a whole family of resistance genes.

“Commercially, it is the most economically devastating disease of the southern pines,” Davis said.  “If growers didn’t have genetic resistance, we would have no pine plantations – it’s that important.”

Florida’s nearly 16 million acres of timberland supported economic activities that generated $14.7 billion in economic impact in recent years and provided nearly 90,000 full- and part-time jobs. A molecular understanding of genetic resistance is a valuable tool for forest managers as they select trees that will develop into healthy groves. More than 500 million loblolly pine seedlings with these resistance genes are planted every year throughout the U.S.

The loblolly genome research was conducted in an open-access manner, benefitting all 31 researchers at 13 universities and institutes, even before the genome sequencing effort was completed.  Data have been freely available throughout the project, with three public releases starting in June 2012.

The work was supported in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Davis said his work is not finished – and might never be – because annotating a genome is a process that goes on forever. 

“It never stops because we are always adding meaning to the genome sequence as we learn about other genomes,” he said.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Researchers Find Genes That 'Tune' Flower Fragrances
Scientists have uncovered some of the genes that control the complex mixture of chemicals that comprise a flower's scent, opening new ways of “turning up” and “tuning” a flower's aromatic compounds to produce desired fragrances.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
UF Researchers Find Lone Culprit Behind Greening
Researchers show that the disease that threatens to devastate the world’s citrus crop is the result of a lone species of bacteria.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Scientific News
Marijuana Genome Unraveled
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.
Grape Waste Could Make Competitive Biofuel
The solid waste left over from wine-making could make a competitive biofuel, University of Adelaide researchers have found.
Accelerating Forage Breeding to Boost Livestock Productivity
International expert skill-sets in genomics and bioinformatics enhance our capacity to breed improved forages for Africa.
Firefly Protein Enables Visualization of Roots in Soil
A new imaging tool from a team led by Carnegie’s José Dinneny allows researchers to study the dynamic growth of root systems in soil, and to uncover the molecular signaling pathways that control such growth.
So Long, Snout
Research helps answer how birds got their beaks.
The Tree of Life — More Like A Bush
New species evolve whenever a lineage splits off into several. Because of this, the kinship between species is often described in terms of a ‘tree of life’, where every branch constitutes a species.
Algae Nutrient Recycling is a Triple Win
Sandia method cheaper, greener and cuts competition for fertilizer.
Non-Transgenic Rapeseed Product Launched For Chinese Market
Cibus and Rotam have announced a new agreement to cooperate in the development of herbicide-tolerant rapeseed in China.
TGAC Leads Development to Diminish Threat to Vietnam’s Most Important Crop
Advanced bioinformatics capabilities for next-generation rice genomics in Vietnam to aid precision breeding.
BESC Creates Microbe That Bolsters Isobutanol Production
Another barrier to commercially viable biofuels from sources other than corn has fallen with the engineering of a microbe that improves isobutanol yields by a factor of 10.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!