GCP-funded project recognised by French media

Wednesday, 06 January 2010 18:00

Following on from our recent announcement on a partially GCP-funded banana genome sequencing project which promises to lead to the establishment of a catalogue of genes contained in banana, news of the research underway has been picked up by the French media, with an article having been featured in large-print French magazine Biofutur.

The project, with a total budget of 3.7 million Euros, focuses on the Musa acuminate species (accession Pahang HD) – the species which enters into the composition of dessert and cooking bananas, with its genome consisting of 600 million base pairs, spread over 11 different chromosomes.

The combined use of the new Titanium® high-throughput sequencing technology as a complement to traditional sequencing, and the complete homozygosity of the banana strain created by Agropolis–CIRAD will enable the production of a final sequence of very high quality, which will guarantee the exhaustive identification of the genes, according to the project collaborators.

The researchers involved reveal that this sequencing project represents a technological first, applied to a genome which is four times the size of the first plant to be sequenced in 2000. Public access to the results via databases promise to facilitate important and rapid progress in the genetics of the banana, thereby forming a basis for the improvement and development of new varieties with a broad genetic base, combining productivity, quality of the fruit and resistance to diseases and parasites.

To view the press clipping, please visit our Public awareness page.

More details on the project are available on the Agropolis–CIRAD website (in French).