According to the consortium news release, "Analysis of the genome sequence data has revealed that the potato genome contains approximately 39,000 protein coding genes. For over 90 percent of the genes the location on one of the 12 chromosomes is now known. The analysis also reveals that the potato genome has undergone extensive genome duplication through evolution The data also show clear evidence for how expansion of particular gene families has contributed to the evolution of the potato tuber the edible storage organ that is the most striking feature of this important and fascinating plant. "
"We can thank many Hokies, who have been paid as undergraduate hourly employees for decades on the project to maintain the potato collection in tissue culture," said Veilleux. "Research specialist Suzanne Piovano trained them to conduct routine subcultures to fresh medium every few weeks and to keep the confusing potato identities straight. The many potato crops required for the project have been grown under the vigilance of the horticulture department's capable greenhouse manager, Jeff Burr."
Veilleux's original potatoes actually came from South America a diploid species called phureja that produces potatoes of many colors, textures, and tastes.
Now, the sequence of Veilleux's little potato will be used as a draft against which the genome sequences of more complicated tubers will be compared. "Sequencing technology is getting better, and now that we have sequenced this one potato, it is kind of easy," he said. "There are all kinds of spinoff studies that can be done, such as looking at the DNA sequence variation in the genomes of different kinds of potatoes.
"These sequences will allow scientists to locate genes for desired traits and develop new varieties. All potatoes have essentially the same genes but the forms of the genes vary so that similar genes found in Id
|Contact: Susan Trulove|