Agriscience and Bioenergy
HudsonAlpha’s Genome Sequencing Center is one of only a handful of centers around the world that performs de-novo sequencing – the assembling of short reads to create full-length sequences – of important plants and organisms. In addition to bio-fuel plants and staple crops, such as soybean, cotton and cacao, the center examines the genome of common pests that wreak havoc on harvests.
The HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center recently responded to a need to facilitate better and targeted cotton strains for an industry that is of great importance to the cotton farmers of Alabama, where HudsonAlpha is located, and around the world. Cotton is not only used in the textile industry but also in biofuel production and in bioremediation. Under the direction of HudsonAlpha faculty investigators Jane Grimwood, Ph.D., and Jeremy Schmutz, the Genome Sequencing Center partnered with colleagues to compare the high quality draft assembly of the simplest cotton genome against other cotton species and traced the evolution of cotton over millions of years, from wild varieties to what is currently grown. Their findings have the potential to reduce pesticide use in farming, improve disease resistance of cotton plants, and promote more efficient water usage.