Tapping Into the Rubber Plant Genome
News Feb 07, 2013
A group of international scientists has sequenced the draft genome sequence of the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis, the major commercial source of natural rubber. The manuscript describing the draft genome is published in BMC Genomics.
Scientists have sequenced the draft genome sequence of the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis, the major commercial source of natural rubber. Rubber is an indispensible commodity that is used in manufacture worldwide, billions dollar industry. The plant has played a vital role in the world economy since 1876. Currently Asia accounts for about 93% of global supply of rubber.
The manuscript describing the draft genome is published in BMC Genomics. The team identify around 12.7% of the almost 70,000 genes as unique, and outline those associated with rubber biosynthesis, rubber wood formation, disease resistance and allergenicity.
The rubber industry is affected by rubber blight -- a fungal disease -- and natural rubber allergenicity, a global medical concern for those repeatedly exposed to latex-containing products (e.g., gloves).
Ahmad Yamin Rahman and colleagues believe that this draft genome information will accelerate the development of high-yielding natural rubber plants. This will lead to assistance in latex production, wood development, disease resistance and allergenicity.
Mechanism Controlling Multiple Sclerosis Risk IdentifiedNews
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have now discovered a new mechanism of a major risk gene for multiple sclerosis (MS) that triggers disease through so-called epigenetic regulation. They also found a protective genetic variant that reduces the risk for MS through the same mechanism.
Antarctic Worm and Machine Learning Help Identify Cerebral Palsy EarlierNews
A research team has released a study in the peer-reviewed journal BMC Bioinformatics showing that DNA methylation patterns in circulating blood cells can be used to help identify spastic cerebral palsy (CP) patients. The technique which makes use of machine learning, data science and even analysis of Antarctic worms, raises hopes for earlier targeted CP therapies.
Ancient Syphilis Genomes Decoded for First TimeNews
Researchers recovered three genomes of the bacterium Treponema pallidum from skeletal remains from colonial-era Mexico, and were able to distinguish the subspecies that causes syphilis from the subspecies that causes yaws. It was not previously thought possible to recover DNA from this bacterium from ancient samples.