NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A Danish academic and industry initiative is focused on using genomics research into the potato to develop the tuberous vegetable plant into “a high-efficient, low-maintenance and multipurpose crop” for both food and energy production, CLC Bio, one of the partners in the initiative, said today.
The project will involve extensive next-generation sequencing, digital gene expression, and bioinformatics technologies in order to learn more about how the potato could be engineered to satisfy food, energy, and chemical needs, the company said.
CLC Bio will develop the bioinformatics platform for the next-gen sequencing analysis that will be used to develop the digital gene expression profiles for the “super potato” crop, said Kåre Lehmann Nielsen, an Aalborg University professor who is heading the project.
In addition to CLC Bio, the partnership includes the Institute of Food and Resource Economics and the Department of Plant Biology at Copenhagen University; Aarhus University; Aalborg University; Landbrugets Kartoffelfond; Andelskartoffelmelsfabrikken Vendsyssel; Kartoffelmelscentralen.
The company said the project is centered on the potato because it produces twice the amount of energy per area as maize or wheat, “making it ideal for energy and food production.”
The project will analyze gene expression data for 40 growth conditions for 15 different cultivars.
CLC Bio said a number of new bioinformatics algorithms will be developed for the project and bundled into a comprehensive package that is based on CLC Bio’s workbench.