CLEMSON, S.C. As peach trees go, it doesn't look much different than its kin at the Clemson University Musser Fruit Research Farm, but appearances can be deceiving. This one, a Lovell variety, has a unique genetic characteristic that made it a standout in the orchard. Its DNA its genetic set of instructions for living has been sequenced by scientists, enabling further research to identify beneficial traits to grow better trees and fruit.
The tree's DNA sequence is being published worldwide April 1, opening a new era in fruit-tree research that could have far-reaching implications for the future of peaches, as well as many other valuable plants. The research is available online at http://www.peachgenome.org.
This genome sequence is the culmination of an extensive research program pioneered at Clemson University under the leadership of Albert "Bert" Abbott, who holds the Robert and Lois Coker Trustees Chair in Molecular Genetics and is a professor in the genetics and biochemistry department. The research goal is to establish the peach as a model tree genome for identifying and understanding genes that are critical for deciduous tree growth and development.
"The tree providing the DNA for the sequencing effort was chosen after careful analysis of DNA from specific trees in the Musser orchard," said Abbott. "The choice of this tree was crucial to the overall success of the project, and the extremely high quality of the peach genome sequence assembly is a direct result of this choice."
The peach genomics efforts of the Clemson research team and its international collaborators led the Joint Genome Institute, a federally funded sequencing facility, to underwrite the sequencing the genome of peach as one of the key plant species of interest worldwide.
Clemson and Washington State University maintain the Genome Database for Rosaceae, which is a central repository of genetics and genomics data of Rosaceae, an economical
|Contact: Bert Abbott|