First plant genome decoded

This didn’t get much play in the press and that is a shame. It is the beginning of a brave new world for plants.

…Scientists said on Wednesday they have finished the first genetic map of a plant in a groundbreaking achievement that could herald a new green revolution.

The tiny flowering weed Arabidopsis thaliana, or Thale cress, may not look like much but the sequencing of its genome, all its nearly 26,000 genes, provides the green chapter in the book of life and a blueprint for a greater understanding of all plants.

Scientists said knowing how its genes function and what they do will lead to hardier, more nutritious, higher yielding crops, better tasting and longer-lasting food and new insights into human diseases and how to treat them.

“Genome sequencing changes the way we do biology. From this point onwards plant science will never be the same again and genetics will never be the same again,” Professor Mike Bevan, of the John Innes plant research center in England, told a news conference. . .

[ read more Scientists Harvest Plant Genome ]