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Researchers Use the Genome Sequencer System to Sequence and Assemble the Pinot Noir Genome

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454 Life Sciences has announced that researchers from the Istituto Agrario San Michele all'Adige and Myriad Genetics have used the company’s first generation instrument, the Genome Sequencer 20 System, to sequence and assemble the genome of the grape species Pinot Noir Noir.

454 Sequence data was used in conjunction with Sanger data to produce an assembled genome of 477 million bases in length with 29,585 predicted genes. The study has appeared in the journal PLoS ONE.

Pinot Noir is a red wine grape from the species Vitis vinifera and is one of the most popular varietals in the world. The red grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France, but is also widely grown in many regions throughout the world. The Grapevine Genome Initiative was established with the aim of accelerating the breeding of this difficult perennial species.

The Pinot Noir genome sequence will aid growers breed grapes for resistance against aggressive micro-organisms, which are currently controlled by massive use of agrochemicals, without altering wine quality.

“Sequencing of the Pinot Noir genome will introduce a new era in the molecular breeding of grape, and further grape’s potential as a model for fruit tree genetics.” said Dr. Riccardo Velasco, PhD, lead author of the study and Head of Genetics and Molecular Biology at the Istituto Agrario San Michele all'Adige.

“Highly efficient 454 Sequencing enabled us to quickly generate whole genome shot gun data, which was crucial in identifying polymorphic sites throughout the genome, and in conjunction with Sanger sequencing, allowed us to assemble a high quality draft genome.”