“Moon Shots” support for botany

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Research appeared this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences It highlights advances in plant genomics and includes a roadmap to the formidable task of sequencing plant genomes around the world.

The article, “Green Plant Genomes: What We Know in an Era of Rapidly Expanding Opportunity,” underscores the importance of this massive endeavour.

Dr. W. John Kress, senior author of the paper and emeritus trustee at the Smithsonian. “Plants are the basis of environments across the planet, and deciphering their genomes will be a game-changer for understanding nearly all aspects of our lives, from improving foods and medicines to inspiring artists and promoting ecosystem stability.”

The effort required to sequence the plant genome is not an easy task, but it is the goal of the Earth BioGenome Project, “moon launch” for biology, [that] It aims to sequence, catalog and characterize the genomes of all eukaryotic biodiversity on Earth [including plants, animals, and fungi] over ten years.” The article, which is one of ten published this week in a special feature in PNAS, co-authored by an international group of botanists and lays out a map that will help researchers around the world achieve this ambitious goal.

An organism’s genome contains all the instructions needed to carry out life’s processes, and it should come as no surprise that genomes are extremely complex. Sequencing and assembling complete genomes will allow researchers to understand how species related to and evolved from other species; how they perform basic biological functions; and how they interact with and respond to their environments. The sequencing of complete plant genomes is particularly complex compared to other groups of organisms for several reasons, but this is largely due to the fact that many plant species exist and have highly variable and often highly complex genomes.

Keep in mind that as of today’s date, there are only 883 complete genome sequences available for green plants compared to 2019 complete genome sequences available for vertebrates; However, there are more than 400,000 species of green plants compared to only 73,340 species of vertebrates. The variance in genome size between plants is also astounding – some plants have genomes as small as 65,000 single nucleotides (the molecules that make up the four “base pairs” in the genetic code) as small as 150 billion nucleotides. There is an incredible complexity involved in understanding plant genomes.

Untangling this complexity is the origin of this article. The authors present a roadmap that will assist the global scientific community in sample collection using new partnerships such as the Global Gardens Genome Initiative and the Global Genome Biodiversity Network as well as the latest advances in software and technology that will assist researchers in sequencing and assembling highly complex plant genomes. With this new perspective, botanists will be able to advance plant genome sequencing like never before.


A massive project is underway to sequence the genomes of every complex species on Earth


more information:
W. John Kress et al, Green plant genomes: what we know in an era of rapidly expanding opportunities, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2115640118

Submitted by the Texas Botanical Research Institute

the quote: Untangling the Roots of Plant Genomes: “Moonshots” Support for Botany (2022, Jan. 19) Retrieved Jan. 19, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-01-untangling-roots-genomes-moonshot-botany . programming language

This document is subject to copyright. Notwithstanding any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

Leave a Comment