Biotech Updates

Consortium Releases Pear Genome Data

June 8, 2012

An international team of scientists led by Nanjing University in China announced that it has finished sequencing a draft version of the pear genome. The sequencing project yielded a high-quality diploid draft genome sequence for the commercially important Asiatic pear cultivar "Suli" (Pyrus bretschneideri Rehd. cv. Dangshansuli). The assembly which was aligned using a genetic map representing the pear's 17 chromosomes covers 97.1 percent of the plant's whole genome, the report stated.

The scientists who worked in the sequencing project said that the pear sequence would be an important resource for those who would like to understand pear evolution and its relationship to other plants. The data from the sequencing effort will be available to other researchers online, and it is expected to help unravel information that could eventually lead to breeding plants with enhanced fruit flavor, color, quality, and shelf-life while lessening its susceptibility to pests and diseases.

The pear genome consortium started in the spring of 2010, and included researchers from Nanjing Agricultural University's Centre for Pear Engineering Technology Research, BGI-Shenzhen, the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Japan's Tohoku University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Georgia, and the University of Hawaii.

Read the news release at