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Potato Draft Sequence Available

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The first draft sequence of the potato genome is now available for public access, the Scottish Crops Research Institute said today.

The draft of the potato sequence was produced by the Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium, an international research team from 14 nations, with funding coming from the UK's Biotechnology and Biotechnology Sciences Research Council, the Potato Council, the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, and the Scottish Rural Environment Research and Analysis Directorate.

"This genome sequence is a major step forward in understanding potato biology. It will greatly accelerate the breeding of new varieties," SCRI geneticist Glenn Bryan said in a statement. "An understanding of the genetic blueprint for potato provides us with the option of genetically modifying the crop to engineer specific properties into existing varieties, such as enhanced pest and disease resistance and improved tuber quality characteristics."

Updates to the public draft of the genome assembly will be added over the next six months as additional data is generated, including annotation of genes, analysis of when and where they are switched on and off, and analysis of specific suites of genes.