LATEST NEWS
   
 

   Search News

    News Archive

  You are here: Home >> News >> New genome sequence could improve important agricultural crops


EUROPE
New genome sequence could improve important agricultural crops
30-August-2011 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
View Source

An international team of scientists, funded in the UK by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), has sequenced the genome of a Chinese cabbage variety of a plant called Brassica rapa, a close relative of oilseed rape. The research, which is published today (28 August 2011) in the journal Nature Genetics, could help improve the efficiency of oilseed rape breeding, as well as that of a host of other important food and oil crops.

The project was conducted by an international consortium involving researchers working across four continents, with the majority of the data generated in China. The UK's contribution came from scientists at the John Innes Centre in Norwich and Rothamsted Research in Hertfordshire, both of which receive strategic funding from BBSRC.

Oilseed rape is an important source of vegetable oils for cooking and industrial applications and its production has doubled in the last 15 years. It is an unusual hybrid which contains the entire genomes of two other plants: Brassica rapa and another closely related species called Brassica oleracea. By sequencing Brassica rapa, researchers are able to access half of oilseed rape's genes without having to wrestle with its large and complicated genome.

Professor Ian Bancroft led the research at the John Innes Centre. He explains "Oilseed rape is the second most important oil crop in the world and the most important in Europe. Sequencing its genes will provide breeders with the tools to improve the efficiency of developing new varieties, but this is difficult because it has a really complicated genome. Thankfully, because it is a hybrid, nature has already divided up the oilseed rape genome into two more manageable chunks, one of which we have now sequenced."

Brassica rapa and oilseed rape are both brassicas, a group which also includes broccoli, turnip, sprouts and cabbages. Together, this important group of plants accounts for more than 10 percent of the world's vegetable and vegetable oil production and, despite their apparent diversity, they are all closely related. This enables scientists to apply the insights they gain by sequencing one species, such as Brassica rapa to improving the breeding efficiency of a range of crops essential to ensuring global food security.

Professor Bancroft continues "Few people would confuse a turnip with a cauliflower and yet, despite coming in a range of shapes and sizes, brassicas are all very closely related. This means that the many of the 41,000 genes which we found in Brassica rapa will also be found in other brassicas and the insights we gain from having this sequence could be useful for improving everything from plants grown to produce chainsaw oils to the sprouts on your Christmas dinner."

The Brassica rapa sequence was produced using a technology which breaks the DNA into small segments before reassembling the complete genome. Throughout its evolution Brassica rapa has triplicated its genome meaning that the task of assembling the final picture posed a particular challenge to the scientists and the technology.

Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, said "Plants have a tendency to multiply their genomes as they evolve. This means that many important agricultural crops like wheat, potato and oilseed rape have much larger and more complex genomes than most animals, including humans.

"Helping breeders produce new varieties of these staple crops will be essential to ensuring our future food security, so scientists must use their ingenuity to find ways to overcome the challenges posed by these massive genomes. This research shows what can be achieved by applying the latest technology and by combining the expertise of scientists across the world."

 
Philippines
  DOST urges start up companies to join 2nd Filipinnovation Award
  UP scientists develop test for early diagnosis of dengue
  UPLB forum tackles scientific facts about Golden Rice, Bt eggplant, papaya
  Seminar tackles biotech crop facts
  MEDIA RELEASE: Experts: Biotech crops are compatible with other resistance management strategies
  Scientists boost 'Golden Rice' development
  Stricter quarantine measures vs. pest invasion eyed
  Bt crops can paralyze pests, says UPLB expert
  Battleground sizzles over GM crops
  BPI seeking rubber entry controls
  IRRI moving toward human trials for genetically modified Golden Rice
  Environmentalists laud junking of eggplant field testing
  DA biotech experts rap Greenpeace
  Golden Rice battles blindness
  Greenpeace pressures Alcala on GMOs
  Field trials of genetically-modified eggplant opposed
  Council to amend city's organic law
  Council junks hybrid eggplant proposal
  A journey through a Filipino genome
  DENR push for GMOs raises serious concern
  MEDIA RELEASE: National Scientists named during Philippine Science and Technology Week
  MEDIA RELEASE: Philippine S&T academy confers pioneering Filipino chemist and biotechnologist
  GM crops revolutionize integrated pest management
  Philrice to test genetically modified ‘golden rice’
  Bt variety eyed to save local cotton industry
  A different kind of camp in Switzerland
  Scientists hit fear tactics vs gene-modified crops
  Government sees commercialization of Bt cotton by September 2012
  UP prof wants Bt talong as legacy
  MEDIA RELEASE: Media practitioners enlightened about biotechnology's role in changing climate
  Agriculture dept to beef up R&D for 12 dollar-earning industries
 
Vietnam
  ‘Small-scale' farms set to mushroom
 
Taiwan
  Biotech investment in Taiwan hits high in 2010: Ernst & Young
 
Malaysia
  BiotechCorp seeks to provide venture capital funding
  Malaysia Receives US$660 Million Biotech Investment From S Korea & France
 
Singapore
  Singapore invests in regional rice security
 
China
  Incubating a biotech future for tomorrow
  China spurns Agrisure corn trait
 
Bangladesh
  PM for biotechnology use in agriculture
 
India
  Experts favour setting up of biotech incubation centre
  Farmers call to embrace technology in Second Green Revolution
  Farmers income has risen due to Bt cotton cultivation: Sharad Pawar
  Govt allows study of several GM food crops
  ABLE for speedy clearance of BRAI, Seed Bill
 
Pakistan
  Future of Bt cotton in Pakistan
 
Africa
  Nigeria: Genetically Modified Foods Safe -Consumer Protection Council
  Namibia to implement biosafety regulations
  Kenya: What Kenyans Need to Know About the GMOs
 
Canada
  Biotech crops gaining ground in Canada
 
Europe
  New genome sequence could improve important agricultural crops
 
Global
  Rapid rate of global growth for biotech crops
  Engineering Food for All
  AgBiotech and Combating Climate Change
  Scientist organizations counter Asian anti-biotech groups
  GM crops now grown worldwide
  Tiny, Symbiotic Fungi May Hold the Key to Adapting Plants to Climate Change
   
  More news..
   


SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center
UPLB Campus 4031, Los Baños, Laguna, PHILIPPINES
Telephone +6349 536 2290 ext. 406 / 169 / 135
Fax +6349 536 4105
E-mail bic@agri.searca.org

SEARCA BIC is one of the biotechnology information nodes of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications Global Knowledge Center (ISAAA KC) and hosted by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA). It was officially established in 2000 to address the needs of the region for a highly credible, sound and factual biotechnology information center in the Southeast Asian region accessible to various stakeholders.

Empowerment through shared information.


Quick Links: About Us     |     Our Activities     |     Events & Announcements     |     Media Releases     |     News     |    Publications &  Information Resources     |      Photobank     |     Other Resources

Contact Us         |     Sign-up to SEARCA BIC E-news Service (e-mail newsletter)


SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center. Copyright 2012.