Biotech Updates

New Plant Genomics Portal Expected to Support Research Into Improved Crops

October 9, 2009

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBLEBI), in partnership with the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, USA. has released Ensembl Plants, a freely available web resource for plant genomics research. The web resource allows researchers worldwide to access and visualize the results of genomescale experiments in different plant species including Arabidopsis, rice, sorghum, poplar and grape vine. "The interface is familiar to researchers as it is already in use for the visualisation of information about the genomes of other species, making this new resource very accessible," said Paul Kersey, leader of the Ensembl Genomes team at EMBL-EBI.

The first release includes genome data from new research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Richard Mott from the University of Oxford with Paula Kover from the University of Bath, have sequenced the genomes of 17 Arabidopsis thaliana strains. In addition to providing a detailed catalogue of variation in the Arabidopsis genome, the project serves as a pilot for the application of high-throughput sequencing methods to plant genomes.

Read the press release at Access Ensembl Plants at