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The Sugar Beet DNA sequencing unraveled by a team of transcontinental Genome Scientists

The Sugar Beet DNA sequencing unraveled by a team of transcontinental Genome Scientists

28 Jan., 2014. In  an article titled, “The genome of the recently domesticated crop plant sugar beet (Beta vulgaris)” published in the current issue  (23 January 2014) of Nature  vol 505:546–549,  the lead authorHeinz Himmelbauer heading a team of 18 researchersbelonging to various research groups of Germany, Sweden, Spain and Britain reported the base sequence of the domesticated sugar beet. For data generation the researchers used the 454 sequencing platform (cDNA and genomic 20 kb mate-pairs). The genome size was estimated to be of 714–758 mega bases. A total of 252 Mb (42.3%) of the genome assembly consisted of repetitive DNA with retro-transposons as the most abundant repeat fraction. All major super-families of DNA transposons were represented, showing a dispersed or slightly centromere-enriched distribution along the chromosomes. Microsatellites and minisatellites were well represented allowing their assembly comparatively easy. The remaining repetitive sequences (‘Unknown’) in 459 families represent potentially new repeats, most likely rearranged or truncated retrotransposons. The assembly covered a large proportion of the repetitive sequence content that was estimated to be 63%. The authors predicted 27,421 protein-coding genes. Finally, the sugar beet genome sequence enabled the identification of genes affecting agronomy-related relevant traits, supporting molecular breeding,  thereby maximizing the plant’s potential in energy biotechnology.

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