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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

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.