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Banana genome sequencing underway in France


Genoscope (part of the Genomic Institute of the CEA in Evry, France) and Agropolis–CIRAD (Montpellier, France) are starting to perform the complete sequencing of the banana genome. With an annual production of over 100 million tons, the banana is considered a key nutritional commodity. It is consumed at practically all latitudes and longitudes of the planet. However, its production is plagued by diseases and insects which require massive use of pesticides.

The sequencing project, to be financed by the ANR (Genomic Program) and the two research organisations, GENOSCOPE/IG/CEA and Agropolis–CIRAD, is being carried out in the framework of an international public consortium for the genomics of the banana (Global MUSA GENOMICS Consortium, with the notable participation of Bioversity International and the Generation Challenge Programme for the libraries and BACs, as well as of Plant Research International and EMBRAPA for the BAC end sequencing).

It is expected that the sequencing operation will take two years and will lead to the establishment of a catalogue of genes contained in banana, with the results to be deposited in public databases and thus made accessible to all scientists in both academic and private sectors of the agribusiness.

More in English and in French