Findings might result in new walnut varieties — ScienceDaily
California produces 99 % of the walnuts grown in the US. New analysis might present a serious increase to the state’s rising $1.6 billion walnut trade by making it simpler to breed walnut timber higher geared up to fight the soil-borne pathogens that now plague a lot of California’s 4,800 growers.
In a brand new examine, a group of scientists on the College of California, Davis, and USDA’s Agricultural Analysis Service (ARS) used a novel strategy to sequence the genomes of the English walnut and its wild North American relative by tapping into the capabilities of two state-of-the-art applied sciences: long-read DNA sequencing and optical genome mapping. The ensuing genome sequences are believed to be of the best high quality ever assembled of any woody perennial.
“By sequencing the genome of a walnut hybrid, we produced full genome sequences for each dad and mom within the time usually required to supply the sequence of 1 genome,” mentioned Ming-Cheng Luo, main genomics investigator on the challenge and a analysis geneticist within the Division of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.
This strategy could possibly be utilized to genome sequencing of timber and plenty of different woody perennials, opening the door to a greater understanding of the genetic blueprints of almonds, pecans, pistachios and grapes.
“Like walnut, these different crops naturally cross-pollinate and are subsequently extremely variable,” mentioned Jan Dvorak, co-principal investigator and genetics professor on the Division of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. “Variability has all the time vastly difficult our capability to supply a high-quality genome sequence for such crops, however these new applied sciences now make it doable,” Dvorak added.
In California, walnuts are grown commercially utilizing rootstocks chosen particularly for his or her capability to tolerate varied soil-borne illnesses.
“We selected to cross the extensively used English walnut particularly with the wild Texas black walnut due to its native resistance to a number of soil-borne illnesses and root nematodes, that are critical pests of walnut in California,” mentioned Dan Kluepfel, a USDA-ARS scientist and principal investigator of the walnut-rootstock growth challenge.
The assembled genome sequences of the 2 walnut species additionally will now assist researchers determine genetic markers that breeders can use to develop new varieties with improved pathogen and pest resistance.