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A scientific group of the Universities of Illinois (USA), Georgia (USA), Hawaii (USA) and Nakai (China), among others, have deciphered for the first time fruit genomic sequence, in this case papaya (Carica papaya), according to the cover of the last issue of the prestigious journal Nature. One of the researchers is a scientist assigned to the group of Molecular Genetics of the Department of Genetics of the University of Granada
This new advance involves, after sequencing other plants genomes such as the sample species in biological research Arabidopsis thaliana, rice, poplar and vine, the fifth vegetal genome sequenced up to now, and the first one from a fruit tree. Besides, the authors have used in their analysis the SunUp transgenic variety, virus ringspot resistant (which represents a serious threat for this species), which means that this has been the first transgenic organism to be sequenced.
Rafael Navajas Prez, researcher of the Department of Genetics of the University of Granada, is part of the team made up by more than 85 scientists who have participated in this research supervised by doctors Ray Ming (University of Illinois), Andrew H. Paterson (University of Georgia) and Maqsudul Alam (University of Hawaii).
Papaya is a very important crop in great part of Latin America and the USA owing to its nutritional benefits and medical applications, and provides an annual income of about 130 million dollars only in the state of Hawaii. In Europe, this crop is experiencing a boom, and Spain, and specifically the Tropical Coast of Granada, is an important producer as a consequence of the particular climatic conditions of the area.