Wild Tomato Sequenced
Two BTI laboratories, in collaboration with an international research group centered in Germany, contributed to the genome sequence of a wild tomato relative reported recently in the journal Nature Genetics . The wild tomato species Solanum pennellii is endemic to the Andes regions of South America, can be crossed with cultivated tomatoes (S. lycopersicum), and is used by tomato breeders as a source of drought and pathogen resistance in addition to yield and fruit quality traits. The genome sequence will greatly enhance the uses of this species for both more efficient breeding and basic biological inquiries into the genes that distinguish the modern tomato from this wild relative.
The labs of BTI faculty Zhangjun Fei and Jim Giovannoni contributed to the assembly, quality assessment and analysis of the genome sequence. They additionally developed DNA sequences and data especially helpful to tie together the genome sequence and build accurate gene sequence descriptions and expression profiles. The BTI labs were supported by the National Science Foundation.