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Apple genome sequenced

The first draft sequence of the apple genome has been completed by an international consortium led by researchers at the E Mach Foundation (Trento, Italy). Beginning in 2007, the project has sequenced the 742.3 megabase pair genome from the apple cultivar, Golden Delicious. They achieved a 17-fold coverage, mapping 90% of the fruit’s 57,000 genes. Researchers note that the identification of a set of 992 genes involved in disease resistance is “a potentially useful arsenal for genetic improvement” to develop new varieties with improved disease and pest resistance or “requiring fewer agrochemical interventions”. Details of the study were published in the US journal, Nature Genetics.

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