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Science  18 Jan 2008:
Vol. 319, Issue 5861, pp. 259
DOI: 10.1126/science.319.5861.259a

Understanding variation, particularly in the context of genetic heterozygosity, is an important step in the effort to improve domestic crops, especially in terms of enhancing resistance to pathogens. Having tackled a heterozygous pinot noir cultivar of the grape Vitis vinifera, Velasco et al. have produced a draft of the genome sequence (estimated to be 82% complete) and uncovered a large-scale partial genome duplication of 10 chromosomes. In addition, they found that homologous chromosomes differed by approximately 11.2% and mapped approximately 2 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Analyses of duplication events within the grape genome suggest that the majority of gene duplication is Vitis-specific and not due to an earlier rosid duplication, as has been postulated. These genomic resources will support further investigation of grape genetics as applied to secondary metabolites (volatiles) and winemaking, and to the pathogen resistance of long-lived perennials, as well as adding to our understanding of genome evolution in the rosids, which include the already-sequenced poplar and Arabidopsis. — LMZ

PLoS ONE 2, e1326 (2007).

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