Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Next Gen Sequencing
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

Join For Free

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 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,500+ 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

Veterinarians Hope New Gene Chip will Help Detect, Treat West Nile Virus
A new “gene chip” developed at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine sheds light on brain response in horses infected with West Nile virus and could lead to better ways to diagnose and treat both equines and humans, researchers said.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Scientific News
Monovar Drills Down Into Cancer Genome
Rice, MD Anderson develop program to ID mutations in single cancer cells.
Five New Breast Cancer Genes Found
Discovery of mutations paves the way for personalised treatment of breast cancer.
New Neurodevelopmental Syndrome Identified
Study pinpoints underlying genetic mutations, raising hopes for targeted therapies.
Uncovering Hidden Genomic Alterations that Drive Cancers
Tested on large tumor genomics database, REVEALER method allows researchers to connect genomics to cell function.
Gene Behind Rare Childhood Syndrome Identified
Online activism by one patient’s mother spurred research collaboration which led to the identification of a new genetic syndrome.
Resilience Project Identifies Rare Unaffected Individuals
Researchers from Mount Sinai and Sage Bionetworks report analysis of nearly 600,000 genomes for resilience project.
Rare DNA Will Have Nowhere To Hide
Two National Institutes of Health grants back Rice University effort to develop new diagnostics.
Virus Causing Tilapia Die-Offs Identified
Discovery of the virus causing Tilapia die-offs in Israel and Ecuador points the way to protecting a fish that feeds multitudes.
Children With Cancer To Get New Gene Test
Pilot study will sequence 81 cancer genes in children’s tumours to help personalise cancer treatment.
How The Bat Got Its Wings
Finding may provide clues to human limb development and malformations.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
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
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!