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NRGene Delivers Major Breakthrough in Sunflower Genome

NRGene Delivers Major Breakthrough in Sunflower Genome

Comprehensive data provide an unprecedented picture of sunflower traits

Ness Ziona, Israel – 13 October 2017 – NRGene, the worldwide leader in genomic assembly and analysis, has created a previously unattainable version of the sunflower genome for a cooperative of scientists from Canada, the United States, France, and Israel. The NRGene-produced genome is more comprehensive than any existing version.

“The depth and breadth of this analysis significantly accelerates our research,” said Loren Rieseberg, PhD, Killam Professor at the University of British Columbia. “We’ll be using the data to identify and order the genetic changes responsible for the origin of species and enhance the ability to breed hardier varieties.”

Sariel Hubner, PhD, of the Department of Biotechnology at Tel-Hai College and the head of the plant genomics laboratory at MIGAL Galilee Research Institute is using the data to characterize the diversity across the sunflower germplasm and further improve other sunflower genome assemblies.

“My specialty is genomic analysis across species,” said Dr. Hubner. “NRGene’s analysis enables us to move from one-genome-per-crop to a multiple genomes concept, allowing us to unravel true genomic diversity of key crop species.”

Collaboratively, they are using genomics and bioinformatics to study the genetics of adaptation and domestication, identifying the genetic changes that underlie the formation of new varieties and the genotype-phenotype-environment interaction.

NRGene’s DeNovoMAGICTM analyzed raw data from Illumina reads to deliver an assembled genome size of 3.22 Gbp, built of scaffolds with an N50 of ~13.5 Mbp, less than 1% unfilled gaps, and BUSCO results of 91% indicating that the genome is 90% complete.

“NRGene reduced the sunflower assembly process to less than a month,” said NRGene CEO Gil Ronen. “With the speed and accuracy of DeNovoMAGIC as a given, sunflower researchers can now shift their focus from genome construction to genome analysis.”

The scientists and NRGene will be continuing their collaboration as part of the sunflower pangenome project, which will enable further research in comparing multiple varieties to breed more efficient plants for oil, food, and other potential applications.

About NRGene
NRGene is a genomic big data company developing cutting-edge software and algorithms to reveal the complexity and diversity of crop plants, animals, and aquatic organisms for supporting the most advanced and sophisticated breeding programs. NRGene tools have already been employed by some of the leading seed companies worldwide as well as the most influential research teams in academia. www.nrgene.com

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