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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Sequence Peach Genome

April 3, 2013

A group of scientists who comprise the International Peach Genome Initiative (IPGI) was able to sequence the 265-million base genome of the Lovell variety of Prunus persica, more popularly known as peach. The research result, which was published in the March 24 edition of the journal Nature Genetics came out three years after the International Peach Genome Consortium publicly released the draft assembly of the annotated peach genome on the DOE JGI Plant portal Phytozome.net and on other websites.

The researchers especially saw the potential of pear as a biofuel crop. They compared 141 peach gene families to those of six other fully sequenced diverse plant species to unravel unique metabolic pathways, for instance, those that lead to lignin biosynthesis—the molecular "glue" that holds the plant cells together—and a key barrier to deconstructing biomass into fuels.

See the Joint Genome Institute's news release at http://www.jgi.doe.gov/News/news_13_03_24.html. The full journal article can be accessed at http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/ng.2586.html.