Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Another great achievement of plant chromosome flow sorting

It was with great pleasure that I received an alert of the publication of the physical map of the 1-Gigabase bread wheat chromosome 3B on the top ranking journal Science. Not only because it is another very important contribution of plant flow sorting, but mostly because I know some of the people involved on this great achievement and all the efforts that were made within this worldwide research team to achieve this outcome. To Jaroslav Dolezel and all his team my sincere greetings.

As the staple food for 35% of the world’s population, wheat is one of the most important crop species. To date, sequence-based tools to accelerate wheat improvement are lacking. As part of the international effort to sequence the 17–billion–base-pair hexaploid bread wheat genome (2n = 6x = 42 chromosomes), we constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)–based integrated physical map of the largest chromosome, 3B, that alone is 995 megabases. A chromosome-specific BAC library was used to assemble 82% of the chromosome into 1036 contigs that were anchored with 1443 molecular markers, providing a major resource for genetic and genomic studies. This physical map establishes a template for the remaining wheat chromosomes and demonstrates the feasibility of constructing physical maps in large, complex, polyploid genomes with a chromosome-based approach.

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