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Sequencing for a Better Sauvignon Blanc?

Investigators at the Agricultural Research Service, a division of the US Department of Agriculture, have developed a novel assay to interrogate 9,000 SNPs in representative portions of the genomes of several grape varieties. Their work aims to enhance the presence of certain traits, such as fruit quality, environmental adaptation, and pest and disease resistance, all the while reducing the amount of time it takes to breed better grape varieties. The team is examining portions of the genomes of 10 cultivated grape varieties, six wild varieties, and the clone of pinot noir, sequenced by researchers in 2007. Their methods have made it possible to "identify the relationships and geographic origins of the cultivars" and also serve as "a relatively fast and inexpensive way to identify genetic markers not only in grapes, but also in other crops by using modern sequencing approaches," according to the USDA. The team also suggests that their technique could aid in characterizing relationships among plant collections and accelerate genetic mapping efforts across species.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.