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Lablab Legume Genome Sequenced as Orphan Crop Breeding Resource

In Nature Communications, researchers at Kenya's International Livestock Research Institute and other centers in Kenya, the UK, Germany, and Ethiopia share findings from a genomic analysis of the  legume crop plant lablab, Lablab purpureus. The team turned to long-read sequencing with a portable Oxford Nanopore MinION instrument, coupled with published Illumina short reads and new Hi-C data, to put together a high-quality chromosome-scale genome assembly for lablab, comparing it to re-sequenced genomes for other wild and cultivated accessions. By digging into the sequences, the authors unearthed genes influencing lablab nutritional features, while highlighting the plant's domestication history, genetic diversity, and phenotypic variation. "The genomic data generated here provide a valuable resource for lablab improvement," the authors explain. "We confirm the dual domestication origin of lablab by resequencing wild and domesticated accessions. We also examine genetic and phenotypic diversity in a comprehensive lablab collection."

The Scan

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.

Sequencing Analysis Examines Gene Regulatory Networks of Honeybee Soldier, Forager Brains

Researchers in Nature Ecology & Evolution find gene regulatory network differences between soldiers and foragers, suggesting bees can take on either role.

Analysis of Ashkenazi Jewish Cohort Uncovers New Genetic Loci Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

The study in Alzheimer's & Dementia highlighted known genes, but also novel ones with biological ties to Alzheimer's disease.

Tara Pacific Expedition Project Team Finds High Diversity Within Coral Reef Microbiome

In papers appearing in Nature Communications and elsewhere, the team reports on findings from the two-year excursion examining coral reefs.