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All the Plants

Plant scientists aim to sequence 10,000 organisms, including representatives from each major plant clade and some eukaryotic microbes, ScienceInsider reports. Researchers gathered to discuss the effort at a workshop hosted by BGI and the China National Genebank that coincided with the International Botanical Congress, it adds.

The effort, dubbed the 10KP plan, will be part of the Earth BioGenome Project, which itself plans to sequence 1.5 million eukaryotic species, and will build off the 1,000 plant transcriptome project, which was launched in 2012 and is now nearing completion, according to ScienceInsider.

The University of Michigan's Stephen Smith adds that the 10KP plan is "an unprecedented opportunity to address fundamental questions about plant evolution."

ScienceInsider notes that the project faces some challenges in the form of needing new tools to handle the analysis of so much data and paperwork to enable the shipment of plant specimens around the world.

The University of Alberta's Gane Ka-Shu Wong says they plan to gather samples within the next two years and conduct the sequencing and analysis within five years. Plant researchers "are raring to go," adds Wong, who is also an associate director at BGI.

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