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NRGene delivers an improved sweet potato genome

NRGene, which works in genomic assembly and analysis, has delivered a significantly improved assembly of the sweet potato genome to a group of scientists from Japan, China, and Korea.

The genome sequencing was performed as part of a project sponsored by the Trilateral Research Association of Sweet Potato (TRAS). The consortium consists of the Institute of Sweet Potato Research at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China Agricultural University, the Rural Development Administration of Korea, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology and Japan’s National Agriculture and Food Research Organization and Kazusa DNA Research Institute. 

“The sweet potato is an essential crop for the world’s communities, especially in Asia and Africa, providing high vitamin, mineral and calorie content,” says Professor Qingchang Liu, president of the consortium from China Agricultural University, “Therefore we launched an international genome sequencing project for the sweet potato.”

The assembly of the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) genome took less than two months using Illumina technology and NRGene’s DeNovoMAGICTM 3.0, which leverages the power of big data to analyze Illumina reads quickly and efficiently, delivering complete genomes at the highest level of accuracy.

“The developments in genetic research over the past couple of years are startling,” said Dr. Ung-Han Yoon of the Rural Development Administration of Korea. “Previously, we labored for years to assemble genomes, now NRGene’s tech can deliver essential data on critical crops, such as the sweet potato, in only a matter of weeks at a fraction of the cost.”

The next step in the sweet potato research is creating a sweet potato pan-genome, which will allow researchers to see unique and shared traits among all varieties and be able to breed sweet potatoes with higher nutritional values, productivity, disease resistance, etc. 

The pan-genome will be analyzed using NRGene’s PanMAGICTM, which captures species diversity and delivers a full genomic picture of any species based on a comparative analysis of multiple varieties. PanMAGIC gives a complete pan-genomic analysis, including genome-to-genome mapping, SNPs, insertions and deletions of all sizes, SVs and gene PAV/CNV.

“With the genome and ultimately the pan-genome analysis, breeders can develop more nutritious, high yielding varieties with fewer resource requirements,” says NRGene CEO Gil Ronen.
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