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First Jatropha Genome Completed by Synthetic Genomics Inc. and Asiatic Centre for Genome Technology
Date:5/20/2009

Partners Analyze Jatropha Genome and Associated Microbial Genomes to Understand and Improve Plant Yield and Health to Develop Renewable Fuels, Biofertlizers, and Disease Control Solutions

Jatropha Genome Represents Second Milestone Accomplishment for Partners who Announced Complete Oil Palm Genome Sequence in 2008

LA JOLLA, Calif. and KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Synthetic Genomics Inc. (SGI), a privately held company applying genomic-driven commercial solutions to address global issues, and Asiatic Centre for Genome Technology (ACGT), a company focused on the commercial application of genome technology to improve oil palm and other crops, today announced completion of a first draft, 10X assembly of the jatropha genome. The completed jatropha genome represents another significant milestone in the ongoing joint venture between ACGT and SGI announced in 2007. The partners previously announced completion of the oil palm genome in 2008. ACGT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Asiatic Development Berhad, an oil palm plantation company and a member of the Genting Group.

ACGT and SGI have focused on Jatropha for several reasons: it is a tropical tree that is one of the highest yielding oilseed plants in the world; it can be grown on marginal, non-food producing lands; has a very short generation time; can be productive for 30 to 40 years; and its seed oil and biomass are ideal for biofuel production. Jatropha is a non-domesticated plant which makes it an ideal subject for genetically engineered improvements.

The sequencing of the genome, using both traditional Sanger sequencing and next generation sequencing, has revealed that the jatropha genome is approximately 400 million base pairs in size, similar to the size of the rice genome. The teams are now working on annotating the genome to identify particular genes of interest and to discover genetic variations for use in marker assi
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SOURCE Synthetic Genomics Inc.
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