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Spanish Center Buys 454 Sequencer for Melon Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A Spanish scientific institute plans to use a genetic sequencer from Roche for de novo sequencing of the muskmelon, a smooth-skinned type of melon group that includes the honeydew, Roche said today.
The Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics in Barcelona has bought a 454 Genome Sequencer FLX, and will use it for the melon research and in other projects. CRAG is a consortium between the Spanish National Research Council, the Institute for Food and Agricultural Research and Technology, and the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
The institute will focus on plant and animal genomics and will begin work with 50 scientists. It is expected to be open in 2009 in a new building near Barcelona.
The melon sequencing project will begin around the end of 2008, according to Roche.
The scientists hope to learn about the basic processes of the melon’s development and resistance to pathogens, and they plan to develop tools that can be used by breeders to develop cultivars with enhanced resistance, as well as fruit characters such as aroma, shape, and ripening.
The major applications the GS-FLX will be used for include whole genome and BAC sequencing, small RNA analysis, and transcriptome sequencing.
“The instrument will also be important for other projects in our center such as gene regulation in model and crop plants both at the level of transcription and by small RNAs or for SNP discovery in crop plants and farm animals,” said CRAG Director Pere Puigdomènech in a statement.
Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

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