[NAFEX] Fwd: Woodland Strawberry Genome Sequenced

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Mon Jan 11 11:53:26 EST 2010

Begin forwarded message:

From: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>
Date: January 11, 2010 5:38:28 AM PST
Subject: Woodland Strawberry Genome Sequenced
Reply-To: ARS News Service <NewsService at ars.usda.gov>

Scientists Sequence Genome of the Woodland Strawberry, a Model System 
for Rosaceae Plants

ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Stephanie Yao, (301) 504-1619, stephanie.yao at ars.usda.gov
January 11, 2010
--View this report online, plus photos and related stories, at 
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The genome of a model plant related to peach, cherry and cultivated 
strawberry has been sequenced by a consortium of international 
researchers that includes scientists with the Agricultural Research 
Service (ARS).

The scientists announced the sequencing of the genome of woodland 
strawberry over the weekend at the Plant and Animal Genome Conference 
in San Diego, Ca. The project was funded by Roche Diagnostics.

Fragaria vesca, commonly known as the woodland or alpine strawberry, is 
a member of the Rosaceae family, which consists of more than 100 genera 
and 3,000 species. This large family includes many economically 
important and popular fruit, nut, ornamental and woody crops, such as 
almond, apple, peach, cherry, raspberry, strawberry and rose.

F. vesca has many traits that make it an attractive model system for 
functional genomics studies. Its small size and rapid life cycle enable 
researchers to conduct genetic analyses with great efficiency and low 
cost. To determine the importance of a gene of interest, F. vesca can 
be transformed in order to modulate the activity of that gene in the 
plant. Most importantly, F. vesca has a relatively small genome, yet 
shares most gene sequences with other members of the Rosaceae family, 
making it an important tool for addressing questions regarding gene 

ARS molecular biologist Janet Slovin, with the Genetic Improvement of 
Fruits and Vegetables Laboratory in Beltsville, Md., created the nearly 
inbred line used in the F. vesca genome sequencing project. Named 
“Hawaii 4,” this line allowed the researchers to more easily program a 
computer to piece the genome together from the relatively short lengths 
of sequence data generated by modern sequencing machines.

Although the F. vesca genome is a model genome for the Rosaceae group, 
critical regulatory gene functions will probably differ, hypothesizes 
Slovin. Scientists can use the genome sequence to identify these genes, 
to test their function in F. vesca, and to develop molecular genetic 
markers for more rapid breeding of crops belonging to the Rosaceae 
group. Slovin will use the genome to study and improve heat tolerance 
during fruit production in strawberry.

ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture. The research supports the USDA priorities of 
promoting international food security and responding to climate change.


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Send feedback and questions to the ARS News Service at 
NewsService at ars.usda.gov.
ARS News Service, Information Staff, Agricultural Research Service
5601 Sunnyside Ave., Room 1-2251, Beltsville MD 20705-5128
NewsService at ars.usda.gov | www.ars.usda.gov/news
Phone (301) 504-1636 | fax (301) 504-1486

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