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Life Technologies and SG Biofuels Sequence Jatropha Genome on SOLiD 4

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This article was originally published Aug. 25.

Life Technologies and bioenergy crop firm SG Biofuels have sequenced the genome of Jatropha curcas, an oilseed plant, using the SOLiD 4.0 platform, the companies said last week.

The partners sequenced the 400-megabase jatropha genome to 100x coverage and are planning to generate a high-quality jatropha reference genome. They will also compare the genome to sequences generated from SG Biofuels' germplasm library of more than 6,000 unique jatropha genotypes in order to identify molecular markers and trait genes that can accelerate the development of new variants with better yields.

"Working with SG Biofuels to sequence the jatropha genome is an important part of our broader synthetic biology strategy to provide technologies for the development of next-generation renewable energy," said Wendy Jozsi, director of synthetic biology at Life Technologies, in a statement.

The companies are not the first to sequence jatropha: Last year, Synthetic Genomics and the Asiatic Centre for Genome Technology, a subsidiary of a Malaysian oil palm plantation company, said they completed a first draft of the jatropha genome, using a combination of Sanger capillary sequencing and 454 sequencing (IS 5/26/2009). Sequencing for that project was provided by the J. Craig Venter Institute.

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