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BGI reports the completed sequence of foxtail millet genome
Date:5/13/2012

r strain named "A2" and an F2 population of "Zhang gu" crossing A2. A2 is the widely used female strain of hybrid foxtail millet.

Comparing the foxtail millet genome and rice genome, researchers found the rules and changing tendency of the foxtail millet chromosomes, which are important for understanding the millet genome evolution. "We found nine foxtail millet chromosomes were formed after three chromosomal reshuffling events." said Dr. Zhang, "Of the three events, two occurred after divergence of foxtail millet from rice, followed by a specific reshuffling after divergence of millet from sorghum."

C4 plants are better adapted than C3 plants in environments with higher daytime temperature, intense sunlight, drought, or nitrogen or CO2 limitation. Foxtail millet is a diploid C4 panicoid crop species. With its genome available, researchers comprehensively analyzed the evolution of several key genes in C4 photosynthesis pathway. Results indicated that all the genes involved in C4 carbon fixation pathway also existed in C3 plants. Thus, researchers predicted that the emergence of C4 pathway could result from expressional and/or functional modifications of these genes.

The genome sequence of foxtail millet could facilitate mapping of quantitative trait loci. In this study, researchers used the foxtail millet genome to aid identification of herbicide resistant genes, and they accurately identified the gene for sethoxydim resistance.

"The decoding of whole genome sequence is an essential and important step to reveal the secrets of genetic control of crops, which could serve as an important platform for biological studies and breeding. " added by Dr. Zhang.


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Contact: Jia Liu
liujia@genomics.cn
BGI Shenzhen
Source:Eurekalert

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