Scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology have published the whole genome sequence of bacteria associated with Jamaican sugarcane and Riesling grapevines in the September and November issues of the Journal of Bacteriology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.
Andr Hudson and Michael Savka, professors in RIT's Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences within the College of Science, isolated and identified three bacteria belonging to the genus Enterobacter from Jamaican sugarcane stalk tissue and Methylobacterium and Novosphingobium from grapevines.
These genomesgenetic instructions that make up individual organisms include one of the first to be associated with Jamaican sugarcane, according to Hudson. The scientists deposited the whole genomes at GenBank, a repository maintained by the National Institutes of Health. Hudson and Savka are the first RIT professors to sequence and annotate genomes.
Basic research like their work provides the scientific community with data to apply to the prevention or management of diseases afflicting crops. Sequencing deconstructs an organism's genetic makeup. It deciphers nucleic acids, commonly known as nucleotidesor the "building-block" molecules: DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid). The specific arrangement of nucleotides, or the genotype, determines the genetic instructions and denotes an organism's genus/species in addition to its phenotype, or observable characteristics.
"This study is important because, as the world's population increases, food production and protection will be a big issue," says Hudson, assistant professor of biological sciences at RIT. "There is a lot of emphasis from the USDA and other federal and private agencies that are interested in studying the effects of organisms on crop production and ultimately food production since 30 or 40 percent of most crops are lost due to pests and pathogens."
|Contact: Susan Gawlowicz|
Rochester Institute of Technology