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Wageningen Scientists Unravel Onion Genome
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: July 21, 2021 11:49AM

Researchers from
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) have unraveled the
onion genome, a breakthrough that will help speed up
the development of new onion varieties that are resistant to
various stresses such as drought and
meet the world's growing demand for onions.
Onion is one of the most
widely grown vegetables in the world and an important part of
people's diet and many countries' cuisines. However, onions are
susceptible to diseases and breeding varieties resistant to
drought and fungi has been a challenge. The size of the onion
genome also proved a significant task because the onion genome is
huge‚??about sixteen times larger than the tomato genome, and five
times larger than that of humans.
According to plant
breeder Richard Finkers, "Assembling the onion genome is
comparable to completing a puzzle with 100,000 pieces, of which
95,000 are just bits of blue sky. Only 5000 pieces really make the
difference." With the help of the latest DNA sequencing
technologies, WUR researchers managed to assemble the small and
large pieces that partially overlap. Plant breeders now expect
that access to the onion genome sequence will double the speed of
their breeding work, bringing it down to about six or seven years.
Onion
genome finally reveals its secrets - WUR



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