Crop Biotech Update

Dutch Scientists Decode Tulip Genome, The Biggest Genome Ever Sequenced

November 8, 2017

The genome of tulip (Tulipa gesneriana) has been sequenced by scientists from three Dutch organizations namely BaseClear, Generade, and Dümmen Orange. Cracking the genome of tulip will help scientists to breed better tulips, and produce them faster and more sustainable.

The genome of tulip is the biggest genome that has ever been sequenced. Its size is estimated at approximately 34 giga base pairs, nearly 11 times larger than that of humans. "The tulip genome makes the human genome look tiny: the entire human genome fits into one tulip chromosome," said Hans van den Heuvel, Dümmen Orange R&D director. Even if the tulip genome is huge, the sequencing which started only in May 2017, was completed in a short time. This shows that modern technologies has hasten up the sequencing of genomes, which used to take several years.

Read the original article in Horticulture Week.