FuturaGene, the biotech division of Suzano (a hardwood pulp producer), reports that it will make available what it labels as the highest quality Eucalyptus genome sequence ever released to the public, in collaboration with Corteva Agriscience. The goal is to support open-source science as the genome will be freely accessible to both public and private scientists, allowing further research into the sustainable production of biomaterials for one of the world’s most economically important crops.

Fast-growing commercial planted eucalyptus are among the most important global sources of wood, pulp, and other fiber-based products, which can be used as raw materials to replace fossil fuel-derived products, according to FuturaGene. The enhanced genome sequence data will be made freely available to academia, the private sector, and the wider scientific community to facilitate research to advance understanding and innovation in eucalyptus cultivation, including the identification and selection of beneficial traits for crop resilience, forest health, and sustainable wood production.

“The release of this genome to the public is in line with FuturaGene’s continued intent to share the value of our research and encourage sustainable innovation to better the planet,” said Mike May, PhD, vice president of public affairs.

An essential tool

“This improved sequence will be an essential tool for expanding efforts in molecular breeding of Eucalyptus,” added Glenn Brooke, senior strategic relationship manager for Corteva. “As we face increasing demand for wood and wood-based products, this dataset will benefit the scientific community’s understanding of Eucalyptus, one of the most sustainable renewable wood crops, ensuring that globally we can improve the crop’s resilience and ensure farming can be done efficiently, effectively and sustainably.”

Suzano previously donated an E. grandis clone, BRASUZ1, for use in a public Eucalyptus genome project in 2014. In the context of its ongoing discovery efforts, driven by bioinformatics and genomics, FuturaGene has now worked with Corteva’s Plant Genomics group to produce a more accurate genome sequence, derived from a eucalyptus research clone from FuturaGene, which is a hybrid of E. grandis and E. urophylla.

This clone, together with a gene transformation protocol, was previously provided to the Great Trees Cooperative at Oregon State University. The new fully-phased genome has been uploaded to the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s GenBank, BioProject ID: PRJNA913125 and will be available from January 12, 2023 (BioProject – NCBI [nih.gov]).

In addition, an annotation data file will be shared through the FuturaGene website. Scientists from FuturaGene and Corteva will share the detailed sequencing methods of this project at the upcoming Plant and Animal Genome Conference in San Diego, taking place today through January 18.

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