NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers from Washington State University and the University of Washington are spearheading an international effort to sequence the genomes of fruit in the Rosaceae family.
WSU’s Agricultural Research Center is providing seed funding for the project, which specifically aims to produce a draft genome sequence of the apple. Other tree fruits in the Rosaceae family include cherries, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, roses, and nuts.
WSU currently houses the international databank for the Rosaceae family.
“The integration of this apple genome sequence data with other peach and strawberry genome sequence data will maximize the utility of this data to the worldwide plant research community and further enhance WSU’s reputation as a leader in plant science,” Dorrie Main, an associate professor of bioinformatics at WSU, said in a statement. “Bioinformatic prediction of the function of the genes deciphered from this sequence will speed up development of functional markers that we can use for innovative crop improvement through apple and other tree-fruit breeding programs.”
The lab of Roger Bumgarner, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of Washington, will carry out the sequencing efforts. His lab recently began using a next-generation Genome Sequencer instrument, made by Roche Applied Science subsidiary 454 Life Sciences.
Researchers from both universities are in the process of finalizing a consortium of partners from Italy, France, New Zealand, and South Africa. The project also is receiving support from the Washington Tree Fruit Commission.