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DOE Unveils New Phytozome Portal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute has released an enhanced version of its comparative plant genomics web portal aimed at supporting research into agriculture, biofuel, feed, and fiber research.

The updated portal is designed to serve as a hub for plant genomics information, and now has 14 plant genomes available for researchers to view, JGI said late last week.

Scientists may use the Phytozome to see plant genomes and associated annotations, including sequence analysis, and targeted plant data.

The gene families found in the Phytozome are defined at "several evolutionarily significant epochs," JGI said, and they provide a framework for the transfer of functional information about biofuel and agricultural crops. These plants include sequences of rice, papaya, grape, maize, and others.

The portal is a collaboration between JGI, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of California, Berkeley Center of Integrative Genomics. The project was funded by DOE, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Eight of the genomes available on the Phytozome portal were sequenced at JGI, including: Populus trichocarpa, the black cottonwood tree; Sorghum bicolor, a drought-tolerant grass used as biofuel; Soybean, used for food and as a biofuel; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a single-cell algae used to study photozsynthesis and carbon capture; Brachypodium distachyon, a temperate wild grass and model plant for temperate grasses and herbaceous energy crops; Arabidopsis lyrata, a model plant used in developmental and environmental studies; Physcomitrella patens, a moss used to study molecular plant biology; Selaginella moellendorffii, a spikemoss that is used to study the core of genes that are common to all plants.

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