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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Sequence Kiwifruit Genome

May 2, 2013

An international team of scientists led by Zhangjun Fei of the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI) at Cornell University, New York; Yongsheng Liu at Hefei University of Technology; and Hongwen Huang at South China Botanical Garden, has sequenced and assembled a draft genome of kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis). A heterozygous diploid Chinese kiwifruit variety, called Hongyang, was used to generate the draft genome sequence, which is accessible at the online Kiwifruit Genome Database (http://bioinfo.bti.cornell.edu/kiwi).

The draft kiwifruit genome represents the first genome sequence of a member in the order Ericales, and the third in the entire asterid lineage, after potato and tomato. The sequence of the kiwifruit genome provides a valuable resource for comparative genomics and evolutionary studies especially in the asterid lineage, which has much less genomic resources available when compared to the rosid lineage. This information also provides a great opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of agronomical important traits such as vitamin C metabolism and provide information for the fruit breeders to further enhance the fruit's nutritional value.

See BTI's news release at http://bti.cornell.edu/bti-scientist-co-leads-kiwifruit-genome-sequencing-project/.