At CROPS 2017, SMRT Sequencing powers reference plant genome assemblies

This week, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology and the University of Georgia are co-hosting CROPS 2017, a meeting focused on
genomic technologies and their use in crop improvement and breeding programs.

The three-day event attracts more than 200 attendees involved in research and breeding for a range of important crop species. PacBio was proud to be a sponsor of the conference.

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HudsonAlpha to host conference on crop improvement June 5-8

Huntsville, Ala. — HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, in collaboration with the University of Georgia, will host the second CROPS conference June 5-8, 2017, bringing together leading genomics researchers and plant breeders from around the world.

CROPS will address the intersection of newly emerging genomic technologies and their application to crop improvement.

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Upland cotton sequence now publicly available

A consortium led by Z. Jeffrey Chen of The University of Texas at Austin and Jane Grimwood and Jeremy Schmutz of HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology has made publicly available a significantly improved high-quality genome sequence of Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). This sequence of the species making up greater than 90% of the world’s spinnable cotton fiber builds upon previous genome sequences published in the past five years.

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Speciation in flowering mustard plant driven by alleles adapted to local conditions

HudsonAlpha faculty investigator part of team that identified chromosomal inversion

On the slopes of the Northern Rocky Mountains, the flowering mustard plant Boechera stricta is undergoing a quiet transformation – that is, evolving into a fitter species better adapted to its local environment. HudsonAlpha faculty investigator Jeremy Schmutz was part of a team led by Thomas Mitchell-Olds of Duke University who analyzed the mechanisms by which Boechera stricta living in a hybrid zone in the Northern Rocky Mountains experienced positive directional selection. Their study was published in Nature Ecology and Evolution in April 2017.

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Coral sequencing at HudsonAlpha published in Current Biology

HudsonAlpha’s faculty investigators, Jeremy Schmutz and Jane Grimwood, PhD, are part of an international team of researchers who have concluded that one group coral could adapt to future climate changes because of their high genetic diversity. Schmutz and Grimwood, who are co-directors of the HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center, performed the coral sequencing, helped with directions for the genome work and completed test assemblies of the data sets.

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Genome sequencing could save American chestnuts

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is generating and annotating a reference genome for the American chestnut tree in a project with The American Chestnut Foundation that aims to restore the once dominant tree to forests in the Eastern United States. We are all familiar with the opening lines of The Christmas Song: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire …” But this collaborative project could mean that those chestnuts might once again come from an American chestnut tree.

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HudsonAlpha collaborators expand sorghum research program

A multi-institutional research effort aims to optimize breeding strategies for grain sorghum for sub-Saharan Africa

Huntsville, Ala. — HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, a nonprofit genomics and genetics research institute, and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, one of the world’s largest independent plant science institutes, today announced a three-year project to expand and accelerate the development and deployment of advanced sorghum phenotyping and breeding technologies in support of improved varieties for smallholder farmers. The project is funded by a $6.1 million grant to the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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First marine flowering plant genome sequenced by HudsonAlpha researchers

Genome gives insight to extreme genetic plant adaptations

Huntsville, Ala. — Three researchers from the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology successfully performed DNA sequencing on a new plant genome, Zostera – an eelgrass that is the first of its kind to be sequenced. The work was part of a six-year project with the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) that could help researchers understand how plants adapt to extreme environmental changes. The results of the project were published online in Nature on January 27.

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GSC working with the Land Institute to sequence the Kernza genome

The HudsonAlpha Genome Sequencing Center is collaborating with the Land Institute to explore the uses of a certain wheatgrass which is becoming an increasingly popular alternative source for breadmaking and brewing beer.

“This intermediate wheatgrass its called, or perennial wheatgrass is very different than the annual grain of wheat that we plant,” says HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and co-director of the Institute’s Genome Sequencing Center Jeremy Schmutz.

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HudsonAlpha plant researchers contribute to gbM study

Researchers from the US and Germany, including two HudsonAlpha faculty investigators, delve into the roots of gene body methylation in plants in a PNAS article published online July 26, GenomeWeb reports. While most of the plants it analyzed by comparative epigenomics had methylomes resembling Arabidopsis thaliana, the team unearthed a plant lacking gene body methylation: a plant in the Brassicaceae family called Eutrema salsugineum, commonly known as saltwater cress.

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