Maize Genome Mapped Rapidly With New Level of Accuracy
News May 08, 2015
“NRGene’s expertise in both plant genomics and IT allows us to create tools that deliver practical, useful results for scientists,” said Gil Ronen, Ph.D., CEO, NRGene. “With our unprecedented speeds and data accuracy, researchers and commercial seed and animal breeders can accelerate development of the most necessary key traits to achieve global food targets.” Because of the speed and accuracy of NRGene’s big data genomic analysis, the entire mapping process was done exceptionally cost effectively.
The analysis was created in cooperation with an academic consortium including the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis; Cornell University; Iowa State University; University of Florida; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; and Boyce Thompson Institute. The genome’s accuracy was analyzed by world-renown agricultural genetics professors across multiple labs.
NRGene’s computerized equipment built the W22 genome by assembling 2 billion short DNA sequences into 367 very long and perfectly ordered sequences to create a maize reference genome in less than a day and a half, according to the company.
The company provided an explanation that only genomic lab scientists are likely to understand. “The system used raw data from x180 short Illumina reads of the plant itself. It was assembled to an accuracy level of N50>8.2 million bp and N90>590 kbp, with unfilled gaps of less than 5 percent. Ninety percent of the maize genome is presented by only 367 scaffolds. An N50 greater than 1 million translates into highly accurate, useable data.”
Researchers can further analyze the W22 information using NRGene’s proprietary computerized equipment, which integrates, analyzes, and stores all genomic data, allowing for data synchronization and sharing among molecular breeders, bioinformaticians, and the breeding team.
“NRGene delivers practical information to drive breeding decision-making to enhance productivity, disease resistance, adaptability and hardiness using big data genomic analysis,” the company news release noted.
The company claims to be doing the most complex genome analysis at speeds never before seen, with rates that make it affordable for every sector – academia, non-profit, and the private sector.
“Before NRGene’s breakthrough technology, only a single corn genome had been mapped. Thanks to NRGene, scientists now have the complete genome of five species of corn,” the company announced.
“With five complete genomes, researchers can more easily increase corn productivity, hardiness, and all aspects of corn production,” added Ronen. “Almost one billion tons of corn are produced every year, and NRGene’s technology will allow that number to increase rapidly.”
Though separated by a world of ocean, and unrelated to each other, two fish groups – one in the Arctic, the other in the Antarctic – share a surprising survival strategy: they both have evolved the ability to produce the same special brand of antifreeze protein in their tissues. A new study describes in molecular detail how the Arctic fishes built the gene for their antifreeze from tiny fragments of noncoding DNA, regions once considered “junk DNA.”READ MORE