Navigation Links
DOE JGI Community Sequencing Program delivers first moss genome

WALNUT CREEK, CAMessages from nearly a half-billion years ago, conveyed via the inventory of genes sequenced from a present-day moss, provide clues about the earliest colonization of dry land by plants. The U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) was among the leaders of an international effort uniting more than 40 institutions to complete the first genome sequencing project of a nonvascular land plant, the moss Physcomitrella patens. The team's insights into the code that enabled this seminal emergence and dominance of land by plants are published December 13 online in Science Express.

The moss genome project, originally proposed by Brent Mishler of the University of California, Berkeley, and Ralph Quatrano of Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), was enabled through DOE JGI's Community Sequencing Program (CSP). Other project leaders include DOE JGI's Jeffrey Boore, David Cove and Andrew Cuming of the University of Leeds (United Kingdom), Mitsuyasu Hasebe and Tomoaki Nishiyama of the National Institute for Basic Biology (Japan), and Ralf Reski of the University of Freiburg (Germany) with his associate Stefan Rensing, the paper's first author.

Physcomitrella is to flowering plants what the fruit fly is to humans; that is, in the same way that the fly and mouse have informed animal biology, the genome of this moss will advance our exploration of plant genes and their functions and utility, said Eddy Rubin, DOE JGI Director. Traits such as those that allow plants to survive and thrive on dry land, will be useful in the selection and optimization of crops that may be domesticated for biomass-to-biofuels strategies.

Physcomitrella, with a genome of just under 500 million nucleotides and possessing nearly 36,000 genes (about 50% more than are thought to be in the human genome), is the first bryophyte to be sequenced. Bryophytes are nonvascular land plants that lack specialized tissues (phloem or xylem) for circulating fluids. Rather, they possess specialized tissues for internal transport. They neither flower nor produce seeds, but reproduce via spores.

The availability of the Physcomitrella genome is expected to create important new opportunities for understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in plant cell wall synthesis and assembly, said Chris Somerville, Director of the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), the partnership between Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the global energy company BP. The ease with which genes can be experimentally modified in Physcomitrella will facilitate a wide range of studies of the cell wall, the principal component of terrestrial biomass. Additionally, the moss has fewer cell types than higher plants and has a much more rapid lifecycle, which also greatly facilitates experimental studies of cell walls. Thus, the completion of the genome is an important step forward in facilitating basic research concerning the development of cellulosic biofuels.

There is a clear connection with this work and the intensifying interest in the global carbon cycle, said Mishler, a U.C Berkeley Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria. The moss system is proving quite useful for studies of photosynthesis among many other processes.

One of these, said Quatrano, who is Chairman of the Department of Biology at WUSTL, is the ability of mosses to withstand drought and in some cases complete desiccation, which will provide us with a model experimental system to identify genes and gene networks that might be involved and related to seed desiccation in flowering plants.

Mishler said that Physcomitrella is well placed phylogenetically to fill in the large gap between the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas, also sequenced by DOE JGI, and the flowering plants.

Having the full Physcomitrella genome available to the public greatly advances bioinformatic comparisons and functional genomics in plants, said Mishler. This is a great example of how phylogenetics can integrate with functional and applied studies.

Furthermore, Quatrano said, unlike vascular plant systems, we can target and delete specific moss genes to study their function in important crop processes, and replace them with genes from crop plants to allow us to study the evolution of gene function. In addition to the genome, extensive genomic tools are now available in Physcomitrella to study comparative gene function and evolution as related to bioenergy and other processes of importance to crops. These tools can be found at:


Contact: David Gilbert
DOE/Joint Genome Institute  

Related biology news :

1. Upgraded IMG 2.3 Data Management System released by DOE JGI to eager user community
2. UK research community gets extended access to ScienceDirect
3. New report explores tourisms impact on rural Alaska community
4. 454 Sequencing uncovers a genetic basis for different social behaviors in wasp
5. 454 Sequencing: Science paper describes a novel, highly efficient method of sequencing ancient DNA
6. UC Irvine receives $2.18M to explore nano advancements in DNA sequencing
7. Microarray sequence capture speeds large-scale resequencing of targeted genomic regions
8. New technique could dramatically lower costs of DNA sequencing
9. IDEMA Reveals Program Highlights for DISKCON USA 2007
10. Thousands of starving children could be restored to health with peanut butter program
11. Scientists launch deep-sea scientific drilling program to study volatile earthquake zone
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
DOE JGI Community Sequencing Program delivers first moss genome
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions , an innovative ... of clinical research, is pleased to announce that it ... (MHTA) as one of only three finalists for a ... Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards honor ... superior technology innovation and leadership. iMedNet™ ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... -- Daon, a global leader in mobile biometric authentication ... version of its IdentityX Platform , IdentityX v4.0. ... have already installed IdentityX v4.0 and are seeing ... UAF certified server component as an option and ... These customers include some of the largest and most ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar , MD, describes ... wellness, and the business opportunities that arise from it ... Healthy Things . Long before health and wellness ... vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, was creating a ... the hospital or doctor,s office into the day-to-day lives ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Tampa, Florida (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 ... ... its biggest event of the year and one of the premier annual events ... USA, and ran from 8–11 November 2015, where ISPE hosted the largest number ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), led ... also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person View (FPV) racing community. ... members have embraced this type of racing and several new model aviation pilots have ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015  Twist Bioscience, a company focused on ... Twist Bioscience chief executive officer, will present at ... 1, 2015 at 3:10 p.m. Eastern Time at The Lotte ... --> --> About ... is on Twitter. Sign up to follow our ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... development and commercialization of first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that ... scheduled to present at the 2015 Piper Jaffray Healthcare ... at The Lotte New York Palace Hotel in ... . --> . ...
Breaking Biology Technology: