Full Genome Sequence of Camelina Published
News Apr 23, 2014
Saskatchewan scientists have contributed key scientific resources to the oilseed crop known as Camelina with the publication of new research findings in the academic journal, Nature Communications. The article published today, features technical details of Camelina’s genome sequence resulting from work conducted by scientists supported through Genome Prairie’s Prairie Gold project.
Camelina is an increasingly popular oilseed crop that is recognized for its potential as a viable and renewable industrial feedstock. The crop’s high oil content and fatty acid composition make it suitable for transformation into value-added industrial products such as jet fuel, biodiesel and lubricants. The crop is also well suited for Western Canadian growing conditions, with natural drought tolerance and resistance to diseases and pests such as blackleg and flea beetles.
“The development of a full genome sequence has deepened our understanding of the unique genetic factors underpinning the crop’s agronomic and oil profile” said Dr. Andrew Sharpe, Research Officer at the National Research Council of Canada. “This work reveals some of the complexities surrounding the Camelina genome and provides insights needed to pursue new possibilities for future improvement of the crop”.
Today’s journal article highlights how scientists have uncovered Camelina’s complex genome and relatively large chromosome number. Most notably, the crop maintains three distinct genomes that behave independently and in a similar fashion to other polyploid crops such as canola and wheat.
“Publication of the fully sequenced genome makes this work available for the research community while solidifying Canada’s leadership position in this emerging crop” said Dr. Isobel Parkin, Research Scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
“The Prairie Gold research team has developed an important resource that will play a fundamental role in allowing Canadian businesses to build value-added opportunities related to Camelina” added Dr. Reno Pontarollo, President and CEO of Genome Prairie.
Back in 2009, researchers identified a herd of Awassi sheep suffering from "day blindness". As that term implies, these sheep were blind during the day (in bright light) but could see at night, in low-light conditions. After identifying the genetic basis of this blindness, researchers have now successfully used gene therapy to restore their daytime vision.READ MORE
The National Institutes of Health announced the launch of a new initiative to help speed the development of cures for sickle cell disease. The Cure Sickle Cell Initiative will take advantage of the latest genetic discoveries and technological advances to move the most promising genetic-based curative therapies safely into clinical trials within five to 10 years.