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This Week in Nature: Jan 31, 2013

In Nature Biotechnology this week, a multi-national team of researchers publish the draft whole genome shotgun sequence of CDC Frontier, a kabuli chickpea variety containing an estimated 28,269 genes. Resequencing and analysis of 90 cultivated and wild genotypes from ten countries identified targets of both breeding-associated genetic sweeps and breeding-associated balancing selection. Candidate genes for disease resistance and agronomic traits were also highlighted.

Our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News has more on this new sequence here.

Meanwhile, in Nature Methods, a team of scientists led by researchers from Indiana University and Miami University report the results of the first large-scale community-based critical assessment of protein function annotation experiment. Fifty-four methods representing the state of the art for protein function prediction were evaluated on a target set of 866 proteins from 11 organisms. The investigators found that the best protein function algorithms were substantially better widely used first-generation methods, with “large gains on all types of targets." Still, they say, there is "considerable need" to improve currently available tools.